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02/19/09 8:34 PM EST

Royals claim Hulett off waivers

Left-hander Musser designated for assignment

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals acquired a second baseman on Thursday but no, not Orlando Hudson. It was Tug Hulett, claimed off outright waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

Hulett will report to the Royals' camp on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated left-handed pitcher Neal Musser for assignment.

Last season Hulett, 26, broke into the Majors in 30 games with the Mariners, hitting .224 (11-for-49). A left-handed batter, he spent most of the summer with Triple-A Tacoma and hit .298 with 14 homers and 47 RBIs in 91 games.

Second base is his primary position but he's also played shortstop and third base.

Manager Trey Hillman doesn't slot Hulett into the battle for second base which already features Alberto Callaspo, Willie Bloomquist and Mark Teahen.

"I wouldn't count him out because I don't know what's going to happen but it's certainly not a priority with me with what we already have and are looking at there," Hillman said.

Hulett's father, infielder Tim Hulett, played 12 seasons in the Majors for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals. Tug Hulett, born in Springfield, Ill., went to Auburn University.

Musser, 28, was 3-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 36 games last season for Triple-A Omaha. He appeared in just one game for the Royals but, in 2007, he was in 17 games with a 4.38 ERA and a 0-1 record.

Hudson, a free agent sometimes linked to the Royals, remained unsigned although the Los Angeles Dodgers were talking to him.

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