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Mariners acquire Andrew Albers from Braves

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On the heels of James Paxton‘s latest disabled list assignment, the Mariners added some left-handed depth to their farm system with 31-year-old lefty Andrew Albers, whom they reportedly acquired from the Braves for cash considerations on Friday (via David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution). Albers signed a minor league contract with Atlanta over the offseason but had yet to crack the major leagues this season. The teams have not officially confirmed the deal.

The veteran southpaw went 12-3 in 26 appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett in 2017, logging a respectable 2.61 ERA, 1.4 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 120 2/3 innings. While he has extensive minor league experience, he’s seen limited time in the majors after playing through several short gigs with the Twins and Blue Jays from 2014-2016.

Still, the Mariners are hurting for healthy left-handed pitchers, and Albers appears to fit that particular bill. He’ll report to Triple-A Tacoma and could see some time in Seattle if Paxton’s DL stint stretches longer than expected — or, baseball gods forbid, another Mariners’ starter gets derailed due to injury.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.