The Royals announced they have signed 27-year old catcher Oscar Hernandez to a minor league deal and have included him in their club pool. The Venezuelan-born Hernandez has played 22 games in the big leagues with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and 2016, hitting .167/.239/.262 with one home run. He spent last year in the Red Sox organization, hitting .192/.258/.355 with six home runs in 54 games across Double-A and Triple-A. Hernandez is a right-handed hitter who was originally signed by the Rays, but acquired by the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft. He had signed with the Cardinals last winter, but was released in May.
The Royals bring Hernandez in to provide some much needed catching depth after All-Star Salvador Perez revealed he had tested positive for the coronavirus and will need to stay away from the club. The Royals also placed catcher Meibrys Viloria on the Injured List this week. Hernandez joins catchers Freddy Fermin and Allan de San Miguel as new additions to the club pool, to give the Royals more players to catch pitchers in Summer Camp. Catchers Cam Gallagher, Nick Dini, MJ Melendez, and Sebastian Rivero are also in Summer Camp.