UPDATE: Theo, Hoyer to the Cubs is ALMOST a done deal

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UPDATE:  OK, not everything is done. Edes just updated his tweet:

To clarify: Hoyer as Cubs GM, Byrnes as Padres GM is done. Epstein to Chi not yet resolved per compensation. Review of medicals remains

So, yeah, not quite yet the big news we expect.

3:25 PMGordon Edes of ESPN Boston just tweeted that the deal is done: Theo Epstein is President of the Cubs, Jed Hoyer moves from the GM chair in San Diego to Chicago, and Padres vice president Josh Byrnes will replace Hoyer as GM with the Padres.

So, with Hoyer and Epstein coworkers once again like they were back in Boston during the good old days, how long before they truly get the band back together and hire Terry Francona?  And sign Mark Bellhorn for that matter?

OK, maybe not.  But whatever else happens, the Chicago Cubs are about to embark on a bold new era. An executive structure with stellar baseball bona fides. An owner who, according to CSNChicago.com’s report yesterday, seems committed to building the franchise from the farm up and plans to spare no expense to do it.

The Cubs have long been a sleeping giant in the National League. The giant, it stirs.

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.