Royals sign six players to minor-league deals

Updated: 2013-11-24T03:09:23Z


The Kansas City Star

The Royals announced minor-league agreements Saturday with six players, including confirmation of a deal with former Minnesota right-handed pitcher P.J. Walters.

Three players, all outfielders, are remaining with the organization: Gorkys Hernandez, Paulo Orlando and Edinson Rincon.

The other newcomers are third baseman Brandon Laird, who spent time last year with Houston, and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez, who arrives after seven years in the Tampa Bay organization.

Walters, 28, announced his deal Thursday on twitter. He made eight starts last year for the Twins, going 2-5 with a 5.95 ERA, and has pitched for St. Louis and Toronto over parts of five big-league seasons.

Laird, 26, is the younger brother of veteran catcher Gerald Laird and batted .169 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 25 games for the Astros. He spent most of the season at Class AAA Oklahoma City, where he batted .277 with 15 homers and 79 RBIs.

Rodriguez, 23, is looking to rebuild his career after making just eight minor-league appearances last season in rookie ball while recovering from shoulder surgery. He is 9-27 with a 3.90 ERA in 309 1/3 career minor-league innings.

Hernandez, 26, batted .231 in 34 games at Class AAA Omaha after arriving in a July 22 trade with Miami. He batted .192 in 70 big-league games games for Pittsburgh and Miami in 2012.

Orlando, 28, returns for a seventh season in the organization after arriving from the Chicago White Sox in a 2008 trade for left-handed pitcher Horacio Ramirez. Orlando batted .276 last season with five homers and 46 RBIs in 92 games at Omaha.

Rincon, 23, played just 23 games at Rookie Surprise and Class AA Northwest Arkansas after recovering from knee surgery following his June 6 arrival in a waiver claim from San Diego. He batted a combined .281 with 14 RBIs in 89 at-bats.

To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to Follow him at

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