Astros pull Wandy Rodriguez back, no deal with Rockies

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The Rockies claimed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez off waivers on Tuesday, but trade negotiations didn’t get very far and the 32-year-old has now been pulled back by the Astros. This according to Richard Justice, columnist with the Houston Chronicle.

Rodriguez cannot be placed back on waivers and will finish out the 2011 season with the last-place ‘Stros.

Look for talks to heat up again this winter, when the Astros’ front office will have the luxury of drawing offers from all 29 other teams — not just the Rockies. Houston should be able to add a few more quality youngsters to their improving farm system.

Rodriguez is owed $10 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013, and another $13 million via a vesting option for 2014. He’s a quality starting pitcher, sporting a 3.35 ERA since the start of 2008, but the Astros aren’t really planning to compete for several years and would like to free themselves of another major salary commitment.

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.