The Mariners and Orioles have called the Red Sox about Jon Lester

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We heard yesterday that the Dodgers have been in touch with the Red Sox about a deal for left-hander Jon Lester, but they figure to have plenty of competition leading up to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline. FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal provide two other potential destinations:

The Orioles are a weird scenario to contemplate since they are in the same division as the Red Sox, but they could use an ace as much as anyone and they have a lot of young pitching in their pipeline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll part with someone like Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman for a rental and someone like Hunter Harvey or Eduardo Rodriguez might not be enough for Boston’s liking.

As for the Mariners, we have heard them linked to David Price in recent weeks, but the Rays may be less inclined to deal him now that they are playing better. They also have the option to wait until this offseason to find a deal. As Rosenthal points out, Lester would likely cost the Mariners less in the way of prospects than Price would have since he’ll be a free agent this winter. And that makes him an appealing alternative for Seattle. Still, the Red Sox will want something that they see as better than the value of a draft pick from a qualifying offer.

One thing’s for certain, the list of teams calling the Red Sox about Lester only figures to grow as the trade deadline draws closer.

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.