Phillips, 29, became expendable after the Royals traded for catcher Jason LaRue, obtaining him from the Cincinnati Reds.
Last season, Phillips hit .277 in 23 games for the Royals with one home run and five RBIs. He spent most of the summer with Triple-A Omaha, batting .243 in 91 games.
In his Kansas City stay, Phillips threw out four of nine basestealers and was 10 for 19 in his career for 52.6 percent. That's the best mark for a catcher with at least 10 attempts against him since 1987.
Since being drafted in the ninth round of 1998, Phillips has been in the Royals organization. He missed most of three seasons, from 2001-2003, because of an elbow injury, but came back to hit .312 for Omaha in 2004.
In his 50 Major League games, Phillips batted .270 (37-for-137).
Dotel was signed as a free agent and passed his physical this week.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.