CHICAGO - The Cubs are close to getting two of their biggest stars back.
Kerry Wood and Nomar Garciaparra are expected to return from the disabled list Friday in New York for a series against the Mets, general manager Jim Hendry said Saturday. Reliever Scott Williamson also could be activated Friday.
"It looks like, without snags this week, we're going to activate all three of them on the same day, which would be very refreshing," Hendry said.
The additions of Wood and Williamson will bolster the bullpen as the Cubs try to make a run at the NL wild card. Wood will pitch in relief for the first time in his career, hoping it will allow him to keep pitching despite shoulder problems.
"Everybody wants a hitter this time of year, everybody wants another 'pen guy this time of year," Hendry said. "We may be adding two outstanding 'pen guys in the club in the same week."
BOSOX BENCH RAMIREZ: With Boston still discussing a three-team trade that would send Manny Ramirez to the Mets, the Red Sox removed the All-Star outfielder from their game on Saturday.
"After meeting with Manny Ramirez, manager Terry Francona made the decision shortly before game time that, under the circumstances, it was in the best interests of the club and of Manny that he not be in the starting lineup tonight," the Red Sox said in a statement.
Mets outfielder Mike Cameron said he was upset by talk that he could be included in the trade involving the Devil Rays. The Mets would also include outfielder Lastings Milledge, the 12th overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft.
After saying he didn't want to talk about the deal, Cameron volunteered that he didn't sleep much Friday night because he'd gotten "calls all day and night long" and that he didn't like being the subject of rumors. "I can't even take it," he said before the Mets played at Houston. "I thought I can handle it. I can't."
BRAVES: Atlanta placed Jay Powell on the 15-day disabled list, a day after the reliever broke his right arm throwing a pitch in the ninth inning.
Trainer Jeff Porter said it's too early to declare Powell's career over after the right-hander broke his humerus - the bone in the upper arm.
Powell, 33, grimaced as he made his second pitch of the ninth in a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh. After being escorted off the field, Powell went to Piedmont Hospital, where Dr. Lee Kelly diagnosed the break.
Porter said Powell, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last year, wore a splint as he left the hospital. He will be reevaluated Monday, and surgery is possible.
"He had no indication this was coming," Porter said. "Obviously, nobody did. He had zero elbow discomfort. His elbow was sound. It actually was not his elbow, it was his humerus. It's not related to the previous surgery at all. In fact, nobody's heard of this before."
MARINERS: The team traded center fielder and ex-Ray Randy Winnto San Francisco for backup catcher Yorvit Torrealbaand minor league pitcher Jesse Foppert.
RANGERS: Texas officially traded pitcher Chan Ho Park to San Diego for slugger Phil Nevin. The deal was tentatively agreed to Friday and needed approval from the commissioner's office because it involves the Rangers sending cash to San Diego to help offset the money remaining on the $65-million, five-year contract Park signed before the '02 season.
RED SOX: Gabe Kapler rejoined the team after the outfielder completed a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket. Boston also acquired outfielder and former Devil Ray Jose Cruz Jr. from Arizona for minor league infielder Kenny Perez and minor league right-hander Kyle Bono .
ROCKIES: First baseman Todd Helton was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his eight-year career. Helton strained his left calf muscle running the bases Monday. The move was retroactive to Tuesday. Out of the lineup for the fifth straight game, Helton has never missed more than six in a row. He was out last year for six consecutive games with a strained side muscle.
TIGERS: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez was ejected in the fourth inning of Saturday's game against Oakland for arguing with umpire Ted Barrett. Rodriguez appeared to touch Barrett with his mask after being ejected and then threw a bag of balls and his equipment on the field before leaving the dugout. The ejection came two pitches after Jay Payton's grand slam gave the Athletics a 4-3 lead.
TWINS: Centerfielder Torii Hunter went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained tendon in his left ankle sustained when he scaled the leftfield wall attempting to catch David Ortiz's fly ball during Friday's game in Boston. The team's Web site said Hunter would miss a couple weeks with the injury, but could be out "much longer" if it's found to be torn.