The Red Sox introduce Carl Crawford

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The Red Sox just held their press conference to introduce Carl Crawford. He’ll continue to wear No. 13 in his new digs.

Here’s a couple quick items of note:

– Crawford confirmed that he only received offers from the Red Sox and Angels, not the Yankees, though they reportedly met with him during the Winter Meetings.

– Crawford also said that he “doesn’t mind hitting anywhere in the lineup,” despite being opposed to batting leadoff off in the past. According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that he will likely bat second or third, which means that either Jacoby Ellsbury or Dustin Pedroia will bat leadoff.

By the way, we now have the details of his seven-year, $142 million contract, courtesy of Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. In addition to a $6 million signing bonus, he’ll receive $14 million in 2011, $19.5 million in 2012, $20 million in 2013, $20.25 million in 2014, $20.5 million in 2015, $20.75 million in 2016, and $21 million in 2017.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.