KISSIMMEE — The Braves agreed Wednesday on a $14.1 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ervin Santana, bolstering their injury plagued starting rotation.
Santana, 33, had a 3.24 ERA and 3.0 Wins Above Replacement in 32 starts for the Royals last season and should make a huge impact with the battered Braves, who are facing the prospect of losing right-hander Kris Medlen for the season and opening with right-hander Brandon Beachy and left-hander Mike Minor on the disabled list.
Medlen, who had been announced as Atlanta's opening-day starter, left Sunday's spring training outing after grabbing his right elbow. Initial tests showed ligament damage, and he be examined further 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 season.
Beachy left Monday's start 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 said.
Santana will be pitching in the NL for the first time in his 10-year career. He spent eight seasons with the Angels before being traded to Kansas City in 2013.
BRAUN DEAL: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun agreed to an endorsement deal with Orlando baseball footwear and apparel company 3n2 LLC, his first since his suspension last year for violating Major League Baseball's anti-drug agreement.
LIVAN TO MAKE IT OFFICIAL: Nationals coach and team ambassador Livan Hernandez, a 17-year veteran who hasn't pitched since 2012, plans to file his retirement papers today.
ASTROS: Infielder Brett Wallace, once a top prospect who has struggled in the majors, was given his unconditional release.
BREWERS: Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, who is recovering from December shoulder surgery, is expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
DODGERS: Manager Don Mattingly left spring training because of a death in his family and will miss two exhibition games. Bench coach Tim Wallach will fill in. … Right-hander Josh Beckett is questionable to make his Friday start because of a sprained right thumb. … Matt Kemp, recovering from October surgery on his left ankle, played an inning in centerfield in a minor-league game for his first action in the field this spring.
ORIOLES: Catcher Matt Wieters will miss several games after spraining his right ankle running the bases.
ROCKIES: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa was named the opening day starter and will face the Marlins in Miami on March 31.