Right-hander Luke Hudson opted to become a free agent late Friday rather than accept an outright assignment by the Royals to Class AAA Omaha.
Hudson, 31, missed most of the last two seasons because of shoulder and biceps injuries. He went 7-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 26 appearances for the Royals in 2006, when he was the club’s pitcher of the month in July and August.
Injuries limited Hudson to one major-league appearance and four minor-league appearances in 2007. He did not pitch in 2008.
The Royals designated Hudson for assignment on Nov. 14. He was sent to Omaha on an outright assignment Wednesday after clearing waivers. Hudson has sufficient major-league service to refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
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The move does not affect the Royals’ 40-man roster, which remains full.