Blue Jays extend J.A. Happ through the 2014 season

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It’s been quite a week for J.A. Happ. On Tuesday afternoon the 30-year-old left-hander was officially named the Blue Jays’ fifth starter. And now comes word that his pockets are getting a little fatter.

MLB.com beat writer Gregor Chisholm reports that the Jays have signed Happ to a two-year contract extension worth $8.9 million. That sum includes his already-locked-in $3.7 million salary for 2013 and adds on a $5.2 million salary for the 2014 season.

Happ posted an ugly 4.79 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 144 2/3 innings last summer between Houston and Toronto. But he has a 1.89 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 14/3 K/BB ratio in 19 innings this spring.

The new extension also carries a $6.7 million club option for the 2015 campaign.

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.