Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox are discussing a contract extension

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that second baseman Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox are discussing a contract extension “somewhere in the vicinity of” six years and $100 million. Pedroia, who turns 30 on August 17, has been one of the best second basemen in baseball this season and the Red Sox want to make sure they retain his services beyond 2015. His current contract includes a $10 million salary for 2014 and an $11 million club option with a $500,000 buyout for 2015. Passan writes that whether the extension would usurp those two years of his current contract remains a point of negotiation.

More from Passan:

After tabling discussions on an extension during spring training, the Red Sox and Pedroia’s representatives picked up talks during the All-Star break, sources said. They’re expected to continue discussions as the Red Sox look to bolster their pitching staff via trades for a run at winning the American League East, which they lead over the Rays by 2½ games.

Pedroia has been worth 4.7 wins above a replacement-level player according to Baseball Reference, nearly matching his output for all of 2012 (4.9). Over 162 games, he is on pace for 7.8, which would nearly match his 2011 output when he finished in the top-ten in AL MVP voting. There is some concern, however, about Pedroia’s lack of power — he has hit only six home runs and his current .436 slugging percentage would be a career low.

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.