KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have signed four players, all with varying degrees of Major League experience, to Minor League contracts -- infielder Brandon Wood and pitchers Brian Sanches, Anthony Ortega and Atahualpa Severino.
Wood, 27, was a first-round Draft choice by the Angels in 2003 and was The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 after a big season for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He blasted 43 home runs with 51 doubles, 115 RBIs and a .321 average in 130 games.
But Wood, a right-handed-hitting third baseman and shortstop, never broke through in the Majors in five different seasons with the Angels. He was claimed on waivers by the Pirates in 2011 and hit .220 in 99 games, his last big league action. In his 272 Major League games, Wood has a .186 average and 18 homers.
Wood spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Colorado Springs, a Rockies farm club, and hit .259 with 10 homers and 64 RBIs in 119 games. He's also played first base and the outfield.
Sanches, 34, originally was drafted by the Royals in the second round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of Lamar University in his native Beaumont, Texas. He reached Double-A and, on Aug. 26, 2003, he was traded to the Padres for outfielder Rondell White.
A right-hander, Sanches has since pitched in the Majors for the Phillies, Nationals and Marlins with a career mark of 13-7 and a 3.75 ERA in 195 games, all but two in relief. This season, he split most of the season between Triple-A Oklahoma City and Lehigh Valley, going 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 37 games but surfaced with Philadelphia for six games (0-1, 9.95 ERA).
Ortega, 27, did not pitch during the 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow but has cranked it up in the Venezuelan Winter League and has a 3.00 ERA in 16 games. He made three big league starts for the Angels in 2009 (0-2, 9.24 ERA). His Minor League career includes 118 games, including 82 starts, with a 26-31 record and a 4.41 ERA.
Severino, 28, reached the Majors with the Nationals in 2011 and had a 1-0 record and 3.86 ERA in six games. This year for Triple-A Syracuse, he was 3-0 with three saves and a 2.81 ERA in 46 relief appearances. The Dominican left-hander has spent his entire pro career in the Montreal-Washington organization and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.