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Royals sign catcher Jason Kendall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals signed 38-year-old catcher Jason Kendall to a minor league contract Thursday and assigned him to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

Kendall, a three-time National League All-Star, has had two shoulder surgeries since he last played on Aug. 30, 2010, with Kansas City. He has been working out with the Royals since spring training.

Kendall, a career .288 hitter, ranks fifth all-time with 2,025 games caught.

Later Thursday, the Royals optioned Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A Omaha.

Mazzaro gave up three runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings Tuesday.

The move was announced before a game with the Seattle Mariners. Rookie right-hander Will Smith was recalled from Omaha and started.

Mazzaro is 3-3 with a 6.12 ERA in three stints with the Royals this season, allowing 44 hits and walking 12 in 32 1-3 innings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.