Royals ink Gonzalez to Minors deal

KC inks Gonzalez to Minors deal

KANSAS CITY -- In an effort to shore up the shortstop position, the Royals signed Alex S. Gonzalez to a Minor League contract on Friday.

Gonzalez, 33, has been invited to the Major League training camp.

He has played with six clubs, primarily with the Toronto Blue Jays, who drafted him in the 14th round in 1991 out of Miami (Fla.) Killian High School.

Traded to the Chicago Cubs, he was in the 2003 postseason and hit four home runs. He also made a crucial error in the Game 6 loss to the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship Series.

In the last three years, Gonzalez was with the Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Philadelphia Phillies. In 1,396 games, he has a .243 average.

Last May 21, Gonzalez announced his retirement after playing in just 20 games for the Phillies with a .111 average. Last November, he was reinstated and became a free agent.

The Royals were without a backup shortstop for starter Angel Berroa. Andres Blanco underwent surgery on his left shoulder and is not expected to be ready until sometime in March. Angel Sanchez is a top prospect, but he's probably headed for Triple-A Omaha where he can play every day.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.