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01/07/09 3:47 PM EST

Royals add catcher Wilson to Minors

Former Mets, Tigers backup rehabbing from elbow surgery

KANSAS CITY -- If the Royals need a backup for their backup catchers, they might have one in Vance Wilson.

Kansas City signed Wilson, 35, to a Minor League contract on Wednesday as he continues rehabilitation for a right elbow injury. He won't be in the Major League camp during Spring Training because of that.

Wilson underwent elbow surgery in 2007 and, as a result, has played just three games in the last two seasons. Previously, he was a backup catcher with the New York Mets (1999-2004) and the Detroit Tigers (2005-06). In 402 career games, he's batted .250 with 25 home runs. He's also thrown out 34.1 percent of would-be basestealers in his career.

It would be handy if Wilson continues his rehab with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He and his family live within minutes of the Springdale, Ark., stadium.

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