Humberto Quintero was a short-term solution for the Royals, acquired in a March 20 trade with the Astros for two minor-leaguers after starting catcher Salvador Perez had knee surgery.
Quintero did a creditable job, hitting .232 in 43 games, including 40 starts, and when Perez came off the disabled list Friday, the Royals opted to stick with three catchers for a while. That stretch ended Wednesday after five games.
The Royals designated Quintero for assignment before their 5-4 victory over the Rays, opting to keep Brayan Pena as the backup to Perez.
One key factor in choosing Pena over Quintero was control of contract. Quintero, who makes 1 million this season, is eligible to file for free agency after the season. Pena, who has an 875,000 salary, is not eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.
"We have Brayan under control for next year, he wasn't going to be a free agent," manager Ned Yost said. "We like Brayan, he's improved as a catcher. He's an offensive guy who'...