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 righthander went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA 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 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 right elbow problems, and Minor has yet to pitch this spring because of a sore shoulder.
‘‘In light of what has happened over the past few days, we felt it was incumbent on us to do everything we could to strengthen our starting pitching,’’ Braves general manager Frank Wren said.
Ryan asks patience
On his second day as the Astros’ executive adviser, Nolan Ryan asked for patience.
The 67-year-old Hall of Famer is back with the Astros, a team he pitched for during nine of his 27 major league seasons.
In six seasons as president of the Rangers, Ryan helped lead the team to four straight 90-win seasons and World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He resigned in October.
The Astros are coming off four consecutive seasons of 100 or more losses.
The Astros gave infielder Brett Wallace his unconditional release. The 27-year-old played with the Astros for four years, mostly at first base and also at third base.
Francisco Rodriguez’s spring debut for the Brewers could be delayed after the pitcher injured a foot by stepping on a cactus in Arizona.
‘‘He took out a lot of the thorns, but there 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.
Philadelphia lefthander Cole Hamels felt encouraged following his first bullpen session since March 1.
The lefthander entered spring training behind other Phillies pitchers after biceps tendinitis in November.
Since he’s roughly a month behind the other members of the staff, Hamels is likely to begin the season on the DL and could miss most of April.
‘‘It feels really good,’’ Hamels said. ‘‘The past couple of days, it’s felt really great.’’
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.
Company president Marty Graham 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.
Wieters hurts ankle
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will miss several games after spraining his right ankle running the bases Tuesday . . . Lefthander Jorge De La Rosa was selected Opening Day starter by the Rockies . . . In Sarasota, Fla., the Phillies scored four runs in two innings off Ubaldo Jimenez and beat the Orioles, 6-5, for their third win in 15 spring training games. Jimenez was making his second appearance with Baltimore since signing a $50 million, four-year contract last month . . . In Tampa, Hiroki Kuroda gave up six runs and 10 hits over 3⅔ innings as the Yankees and Tigers played to a 7-7 tie in 10 innings . . . At Glendale, Ariz., Zack Greinke made his second spring start after missing two weeks with a strained right calf. He gave up three runs in two innings in a 9-2 loss to a Diamondbacks split squad . . . In Scottsdale, Ariz., Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hobbled off the field after getting hit by a pitch on his left leg by Arizona starter Wade Miley. Tulowitzki sustained a bruised calf and X-rays were negative.