Speaking directly about the topic for the first time since gambling-related tweets appeared on his Twitter account last week, Miami pitcher Jarred Cosart denied ever betting on baseball.

"I never have, never will bet on baseball," Cosart said Wednesday.

Tweets that appeared on Cosart's account discussed gambling advice received from a gambling expert. They did not appear to involve baseball bets.

Cosart briefly addressed the situation last week, stating he was cooperating with Major League Baseball's investigation.

"Still following the MLB protocol. Hoping that everything gets done by opening day," said Cosart, a former Phillies minor-leaguer who was traded to Houston in 2011 as part of the Hunter Pence trade.

Dodgers dough

Righthander Dustin McGowan was released by the Dodgers, who are now paying $43.8 million for 2015 to cover the costs of players no longer with the team.

McGowan will receive $124,795 in termination pay rather than his $507,500 salary, the big-league minimum.

Los Angeles owes Brian Wilson $10 million for this year after releasing the reliever in December, and the Dodgers are responsible for pitcher Chad Billinglsley's $3 million option buyout: half was due by this March 1 and the rest by next March 1. Billingsley later signed with the Phillies.

The Dodgers are paying San Diego $18 million this year as part of the December trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz to the Padres, and $12,684,250 to Miami this season as part of the December swap that sent pitcher Dan Haren and infielders Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas to the Marlins.

Los Angeles also is receiving seven-figure payments this season from trades for players it acquired: $1 million from the Phillies as part of the Jimmy Rollins deal and $3.9 million this year from Boston in the 2012 swap for Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

Nats' Rendon to DL

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon will start the season on the disabled list because of a sprained left knee.

Rendon was hurt March 9 diving for a ball in the field. The Nationals expected Rendon to return within a week, but pain lingered. A sprained medial collateral ligament was diagnosed and he was examined this week by James Andrews and Steven Singleton. He will need rehabilitation time.

"He's missed so much time, it will be a fairly lengthy one, I'm sure, to get him back in shape," manager Matt Williams said.

Singleton demoted

First baseman Jon Singleton was among four players optioned to the minor leagues by the Astros.

Singleton, owed $2 million this year under a five-year contract he agreed to last June, was optioned to triple-A Fresno.

The 23-year-old Singleton, a former Phillies farmhand also traded in the Pence deal, batted .168 in 95 games for the Astros last season and struck out 18 times in 50 at-bats during spring training.

"Jon has some of the best bat speed on this team, some of the best power on this team," manager A.J. Hinch said, "and we've got to find a way to bring out a consistent swing that works for him."

- Associated Press