Yankees designate Vernon Wells for assignment

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Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, dropping the veteran outfielder from the 40-man roster and exposing him to the waiver wire.

Wells got off to a great start in New York, but ended up hitting just .233 with 11 homers and a .631 OPS in 130 games overall. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2010 and the Yankees had even less use for him than before after signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

He’ll almost surely pass through waivers unclaimed because in addition to Wells being horrible for three years in a row no team will want anything to do with his remaining contract (although most of it is being paid by one of his now three former teams).

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.