If the Mariners want to cut payroll by unloading OF Ken Griffey Jr. or SS Alex Rodriguez, they'll have to wait until next season.

As a first step toward a trade after the July 31 deadline, the team placed the two superstars on waivers, making them available to any other major league team willing to assume their contracts, said baseball executives. Players can't be traded after the July 31 trading deadline without first clearing waivers.

If they weren't claimed by another team, the Mariners could have traded them. But they were claimed, prompting the Mariners to rescind the move before they lost either one without compensation.

INJURY UPDATE: After batting and running during a simulated game in St. Petersburg, Fla., DH Jose Canseco hopes to return to action Friday when the Devil Rays open a homestand against the Royals.

Canseco had surgery July 11 for a ruptured disk in his back. It originally was feared he'd be out for the season. . . .

Blue Jays LHP David Wells, who was scratched from his last start because of a stiff back, will make his scheduled start Wednesday.

TRADE: The Indians re-acquired IF Carlos Baerga (.250, 2 HR, 5 RBI) from the Padres for a player to be named. Baerga, 30, was a three-time all-star with the Indians.