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Royals sign left-hander Saunders to minor league deal, plan to send him to Triple-A Omaha

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Royals have signed veteran left-hander Joe Saunders, who was released by the Rangers last week, to a minor league contract Tuesday and plan to assign him to Triple-A Omaha.

The 33-year-old Saunders was 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts for the Rangers before he was released on Friday. He also made four starts for their minor league affiliates.

"We just need depth," Royals manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay. "We didn't have an experienced guy outside of Bruce Chen if we needed a start, that could handle it. You can't have enough experienced arms, especially when you're trying to compete for a pennant."

Saunders was an All-Star with the Angels in 2008, when he won 17 games. But he's bounced around the league the last few seasons, spending time with the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Mariners and Rangers. He is 89-86 with a 4.35 ERA in 10 seasons.

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