KISSIMMEE, Fla. — 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 opening-day starter, 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.
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.
But Santana, who made $13 million in the final year of his contract, turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals and became a free agent. Given his hefty contract demands, he remained unsigned as spring training began despite putting up some impressive career numbers.
“This guy makes our rotation a lot better than where we are at now,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Santana threw a bullpen at the Braves’ spring-training complex Wednesday, which Gonzalez said went well. Despite his late entrance to camp, Santana could be ready for the start of the season.
ORIOLES: Catcher Matt Wieters will miss several games after spraining his right ankle running the bases Tuesday.
ASTROS: Infielder Brett Wallace was given his unconditional release by Houston.
Wallace, 27, 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. In eight games this spring training, Wallace hit .143 (2 for 14) with eight strikeouts.
BREWERS: Francisco Rodriguez’s spring-training debut could be delayed after he injured a foot by stepping on a cactus.
“He took out a lot of the thorns but there’s some more in there,” Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke said. “I don’t think it’s that big of a setback but I imagine he’s pretty sore today.”
Rodriguez reported late because of a visa problem and was expected to make his first appearance Thursday against San Diego in Peoria, Ariz.
• 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.
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.
Braun has apologized several times and returned to the team in spring training.
RANGERS: Right-hander Nate Adcock was assigned to minor league camp by Texas, a day before he is scheduled for surgery to relieve Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a condition involving compressed 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.
• Hiroki Kuroda gave up six runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings as the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers played to a 7-7 tie in 10 innings at Tampa, Fla.
Nick Castellanos drove in two runs with a double during Detroit’s four-run, six-hit first inning against Kuroda.
• Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Dunedin, Fla.
Ben Zobrist returned to the Rays’ lineup at designated hitter after missing three games with a stiff neck. He was 0 for 2 with a walk and two strikeouts.
• The Philadelphia Phillies scored four runs in two innings off Ubaldo Jimenez and beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 at Sarasota, Fla.
A.J. Burnett took a three-hitter into the fifth inning for Philadelphia but was pulled after giving up a leadoff walk and two-run homer to Nolan Reimold. The 37-year-old Burnett was 0-2 with a 12.60 ERA in his first two starts.
• Tim Lincecum pitched 4 1/3 effective innings and the San Francisco Giants rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Scottsdale, Ariz.
• David Freese had three hits and Albert Pujols two as a Los Angeles Angels split squad roughed up Milwaukee starter Matt Garza in a 12-2 win at Tempe, Ariz.
Garza’s rough spring continued as he allowed 10 runs, six earned, and nine hits in 12/3 innings.
Garza reportedly rejected more money from the Angels to sign a four-year $50 million contract with Milwaukee. His spring ERA is 19.06 after three starts.
• Yordano Ventura struck out six in 4 1/3 innings and Salvador Perez hit a two-run home run, leading the Kansas City Royals to a 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas continued his torrid spring, going 3 for 3 with a solo homer, double and single to raise his batting average to .500 in 11 games. Moustakas has four home runs and 13 RBI.
• Zack Greinke allowed three runs and six hits over two innings in his first start since straining his right calf nearly two weeks ago, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 9-2 to an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad at Glendale, Ariz.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was not with the team because of a death in his family. Mattingly is expected to return Friday.
• Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer for the second straight day, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 6-4 at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Wong went 2 for 4 with a long home run to right off Kyle Farnsworth in the seventh that made it 4-0.
• Pedro Alvarez and Travis Ishikawa hit long home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Fort Myers, Fla.