The Royals announced Friday afternoon the signing of former Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders to a minor-league contract with a spring training invite. Saunders signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates on Wednesday and even arrived at their camp in Bradenton, Fla., within hours of agreeing to terms, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But the Pirates traded for Rays outfielder Corey Dickerson on Thursday, essentially eliminating Saunders’ already slim chances for a crack at the big-league roster. Saunders was released by the Pirates early Friday. The transaction adds to the Royals’ fluid outfield situation. Saunders, 31, will join the Royals in the midst of a crowded center-field competition that features Paulo Orlando, Billy Burns and Bubba Starling, all of whom are on the 40-man roster. Saunders, a left-handed hitter, has batted .232 over nine major-league seasons. He was one of the Blue Jays’ five All-Stars in 2016, when he hit .298 with 16 home runs, 25 doubles and 42 RBIs in the first half. But he ended the season with a .253 average through 140 games.