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MLB roundup: Hudson, Niese draw Opening Day assignments

The SportsXchange

Two NL East division teams announced their Opening Day starters on Thursday.

The Atlanta Braves named veteran right-hander Tim Hudson to start the opener, scheduled for April 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hudson, 37, posted a 3.62 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 179 innings last season. He will head a rotation that includes Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran.

Meanwhile, New York Mets starter Johan Santana will open the season on the disabled list, manager Terry Collins said. Collins then officially named left-hander Jon Niese to start Opening Day.

Santana hasn't appeared in a game this spring as he continues to build arm strength. Niese, 26, posted a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts last season. This will be his first career opening day assignment.

--Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, and is expected to be out about eight weeks. Ramirez was injured diving for a ball in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic, when his Dominican Republic team defeated Puerto Rico 3-0.

Ramirez batted .271 with 10 homers and 44 RBI in 64 games with the Dodgers last season after being acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

--Hard-throwing Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman is headed back to the bullpen, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer report.

Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that no decision has been made on Chapman's role for 2013.

Chapman, 25, had been starting this spring, but he struggled with his command. Though he started 16 times in the minors, he's been a reliever exclusively since coming to the majors.

--The San Francisco Giants have begun discussions on a long-term contract with franchise catcher Buster Posey, according to multiple reports.

The reigning National League Most Valuable Player will earn $8 million in 2013 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. A super-two player, the 25-year-old will head to arbitration three more times.

A new deal could simply buy out those three seasons, as well as add years to delay his potential free agency.

--Free agent Kyle Lohse won't wait until after the June amateur draft to sign a contract, agent Scott Boras told MLB Network.

The market for the pitcher has been limited because teams have been reluctant to surrender a first- or second-round draft pick as compensation, but that stipulation will no longer apply if Lohse signs after the June amateur draft. Boras insists that Lohse will sign before that point.

--Cleveland Indians top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer was among three pitchers optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

The 22-year-old righty allowed 13 runs -- 11 earned -- in 16 1/3 Cactus League innings. Left-hander Scott Barnes and righty Corey Kluber were also shipped to Columbus.

--Former shortstop Edgar Renteria announced his retirement after 16 major league seasons.

The 36-year-old held a press conference in Colombia to make his decision official. He batted .286 with 140 home runs for the Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Braves, Detroit Tigers, Giants and Reds, and was named to five All-Star teams.

Renteria's final season came in 2011, when he batted .251 in 299 at-bats for Cincinnati.
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