Kerry Wood and Nomar Garciaparra are expected to rejoin the Chicago Cubs by this weekend, and the team hopes they can help it make a push in the National League wild-card race.
Wood said his right arm was loose and feeling good after a couple of minor league rehabilitation outings. He expects to pitch in relief the rest of the season in an effort to reduce the strain on his arm.
"Obviously, I've got to get through the season and stay healthy the rest of the way," Wood said. "But at this particular point, my role is to come out of the 'pen and help the team that way."
Wood pitched in relief for the second appearance of his rehab assignment Tuesday night and retired all four batters he faced for the Class-A Peoria Chiefs.
The right-hander, on the disabled list since July 20 because of inflammation in his right shoulder, threw 12 of 15 pitches for strikes.
"The pain went away," Wood said. "I don't have any pain when I'm throwing."
Garciaparra had one hit in three at-bats in his last rehabilitation game at double-A West Tenn, then said he would rejoin the Cubs in Philadelphia immediately.
Garciaparra, who had three hits in 13 at-bats in four games with the Diamond Jaxx, has been on the disabled list since injuring his groin in April.
New York Yankee right-hander Carl Pavano yielded three runs and six hits over six innings in a rehabilitation start for Class-A Tampa.
Pavano struck out three and walked none, throwing 56 of 77 pitches for strikes against the Vero Beach Dodgers. The Yankees hope he can rejoin the rotation next week.
The Cleveland Indians have restructured third baseman Aaron Boone's contract for 2006 and exercised their option on it. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2007.