Wells signs with Royals, his sixth team in 10 years

Updated: August 19, 2008, 7:35 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kip Wells, who started on Opening Day for Colorado before getting demoted and later cut, signed Tuesday with the Kansas City Royals.

The 31-year-old free agent was designated for assignment by the Rockies on Aug. 10. He is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 15 appearances -- he was 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA as a reliever, which is how the Royals expect to use him the righty.

Wells joined the Royals for their game in Cleveland on Tuesday night. This is his sixth major league team in a 10-year career.

"Obviously, I'm excited to get back on the field," he said.

It's been a trying season for Wells, who has had to deal with issues on and off the field.

Wells had surgery to remove blood clots in his pitching hand on May 6. He returned from the 60-day disabled list on July 21 and made his second start of the season that night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, getting only one out while giving up eight runs in the Rockies' 16-10 loss.

Wells also had a blocked artery in his right arm in 2006, which had to be replaced by a vein taken from his leg.

Last April, Wells' daughter, Georgia, had a cancerous tumor removed from her spine when she was 11 months old. Wells' wife, Emily, gave birth to son Deacon on Aug. 14.

Wells was thankful he's been able to be with his family at their home in Houston for most of the season.

"It was kind of a blessing I was injured the way I was because it gave me time to address that," Wells said. "Then I got put on waivers so I had a chance to get home for my son's birth."

Royals manager Trey Hillman said Wells will be used in both long and short relief.

Left-hander Josh Newman was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. He allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings (three appearances) after being called up from Omaha on Aug. 10.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press