Posted: Tue December 11, 2012 3:11PM; Updated: Tue December 11, 2012 3:11PM

Royals, Blue Jays make minor moves

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Dan Wheeler
Dan Wheeler has pitched for five teams in 13 MLB seasons.
Steven Senne/AP
MLB Team Page

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Royals have signed veteran pitchers George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler and veteran outfielder Willy Taveras to minor league contracts.

Sherrill is a former All-Star who is coming off Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The 35-year-old is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career appearances for the Mariners, Orioles, Dodgers and Braves.

Wheeler, who turned 35 on Monday, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 career appearances for the Rays, Mets, Astros, Red Sox and Indians.

Both of the pitchers will attempt to win spots in the Royals' stacked bullpen during spring training.

Taveras, who turns 31 later this month, is a career .274 hitter in seven seasons with the Astros, Rockies, Reds and Nationals.

Blue Jays sign Vargas, four others

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitchers Claudio Vargas, Richard Thompson and Juan Perez and infielders Eugenio Velez and Luis Jimenez to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training.

Vargas spent last season with triple-A Nashville. He went 7-1 with a 3.69 earned-run average.

Thompson played for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland in 2012, going 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA in three games.

Perez appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for Milwaukee, finishing 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA.

Velez played for triple-A Memphis, hitting .280 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs in 136 games. Jimenez made his major-league debut for the Mariners last season, going 1 for 17 in seven games.

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