Royals add to backup catcher competition with Hernandez signing

Ramon Hernandez played in 17 games with the Dodgers last season before being released in June.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals added to the competition for the backup spot behind starting catcher Salvador Perez with the signing Tuesday of veteran Ramon Hernandez.


Hernandez, 37, was signed to a minor-league deal but likely will be offered a spring-training invite. The club has not yet announced all of its non-roster invites.

The Royals have two other catchers on their 40-man roster besides Perez — Brett Hayes and Francisco Pena. Hayes played in five games for the Royals last year, hitting .278 with three doubles, one homer and two RBIs.

Pena is the son of former Royals manager Tony Pena.

Hernandez is a 15-year veteran in the major leagues. He has a career .263 average with a .327 on-base percentage. He played in 17 games with the Dodgers last season before being released in June.

Hernandez’s best season came in 2006 with the Orioles when he hit 23 homers with 91 RBIs. He also was an All-Star with Oakland in 2003, hitting 21 homers with 78 RBIs.

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