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12/18/08 5:19 PM EST

Hudson returns to Royals

Pitcher agrees to Minor League deal with invitation to Spring Training

After testing the market, Luke Hudson is back with the Royals.

Hudson, 31, agreed Thursday to a new Minor League contract with Kansas City and a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training.

The right-hander became a free agent last month rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha. However, he elected to return to the Royals. Hudson initially joined Kansas City as a free agent after the Reds released him in the spring of 2006.

Hudson did not pitch in a game in 2008 as he recuperated from shoulder surgery, and he made only one appearance in the Majors in '07.

In his last full, healthy season, Hudson posted a 5.12 ERA in 102 innings for the Royals in 2006. He made 15 starts and 11 relief appearances that year.

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