The Atlanta Braves agreed Wednesday on a $14.1 million, one-year contract with Ervin Santana, bolstering their injury-plagued starting rotation.
The 33-year-old right-hander went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season and should make a huge impact with the battered Braves, who are facing the prospect of losing Kris Medlen for the season and opening with Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor on the disabled list.
Medlen, who had been announced as Atlanta’s starter on Opening Day, left a spring training outing Sunday after grabbing his right elbow. Initial tests showed ligament damage, and he will undergo further examination to determine if he needs surgery for the second time in less than four years. Medlen said he’s already preparing himself to miss the entire season.
Beachy left a start Monday because of continuing problems with his right elbow, and Minor has yet to pitch this spring because of a sore shoulder.
“In light of what has happened over the past few days with our pitching staff, we felt it was incumbent on us to do everything we could to strengthen our starting pitching,” Braves General Manager Frank Wren told reporters before a game against Washington.
Santana will be pitching in the NL for the first time in his 10-year career. He spent eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before being traded to the Royals in 2013, helping Kansas City post an 86-76 record, their best since 1989.
Braun gets new deal
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun agreed to an endorsement deal with baseball footwear and apparel company 3n2 LLC — his first since his suspension last year for violating Major League Baseball’s anti-drug agreement.
Terms of the deal with the company based in Orlando, Fla., were not disclosed. ESPN.com first reported the agreement.
Company president Marty Graham said the agreement wasn’t about the past, but focused on the future. He said the firm has done its research and strongly believes in Braun as an athlete.
A five-time All-Star and the 2011 NL MVP, Braun accepted a 65-game penalty last July for his involvement with Biogenesis, a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Nike Inc., ended its relationship with Braun afterward.
Right-hander Nate Adcock was assigned to minor-league camp by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, a day before he is scheduled for surgery to relieve Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a condition that compresses nerves, arteries and veins in his right side. Adcock was 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA with the Kansas City Royals from 2011-12 and spent last season at Triple-A. Texas also optioned right-handers Wilmer Font and Ben Rowen to Triple-A Round Rock and right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla and infielder Luis Sardinas to Double-A Frisco. The Rangers assigned right-hander Armando Rodriguez and infielder Rougned Odor to their minor-league camp. … Infielder Brett Wallace was given his unconditional release by the Houston Astros. The 27-year-old played with the Astros for four years, mostly at first base and also at third base. He played in 79 games last season, batting .221 with 13 home runs.
Feeling the pain
Francisco Rodriguez’s spring training debut for the Milwaukee Brewers could be delayed after the pitcher injured a foot by stepping on a cactus. Rodriguez reported late because of a visa problem and was expected to make his first appearance today against San Diego in Peoria. … Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will miss several games after spraining his right ankle running the bases Tuesday. Wieters’ ankle was heavily taped when he walked into the clubhouse Wednesday. He called it a “slight sprain” and says he’d probably try to play if it was the regular season.