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MLB notebook: Braves sign Ervin Santana to bolster rotation

| Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 8:39 p.m.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The 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 an 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.

“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 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.

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.

Overall, he is 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA.

Braun gets endorsement

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. first reported the agreement.

K-Rod injured by cactus

Francisco Rodriguez's spring training debut for the Brewers could be delayed after the pitcher injured a foot by stepping on a cactus.

“He took out a lot of the thorns, but there some more in there,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Rodriguez reported late because of a visa problem and was expected to make his first appearance Thursday against San Diego in Peoria.

“He may come in and say, ‘I'm pitching,' ” Roenicke said.

The 32-year-old agreed to a $3.25 million, one-year contract last month.

Livan to officially retire

Nationals coach Livan Hernandez said he will file his retirement papers Thursday, officially ending his playing career.

Hernandez hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012 with the Braves and Brewers. He rejoined the Nationals in January and has been coaching Nationals pitchers.

In 17 seasons, he compiled a record of 178-177.

Wieters sprains ankle

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will miss several games after spraining his right ankle running the bases Tuesday.

Wieters called it a “slight sprain” and said he'd probably try to play if it was the regular season.

Around the horn

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels said he is encouraged and that his arm “feels really good” after he threw a bullpen session. The Phillies' ace had slowed down his rehab from biceps tendinitis after feeling discomfort earlier in spring. ... Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa was selected as the Opening Day starter for the Rockies. It's the first opening-day assignment for the 32-year-old De La Rosa, who went a career-best 16-6 with a 3.49 ERA last season. ... Right-hander Nate Adcock was assigned to minor league camp by the Rangers a day before he is scheduled for surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition involving compresses nerves, arteries and veins in his right side. ... Dodgers manager Don Mattingly left spring training because of a death in his family and will miss a pair of exhibition games. ... Infielder Brett Wallace was given his unconditional release by the 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.

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