The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a deal with reliever Luis Ayala, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Ayala was released by the Nationals on Thursday and immediately received offers from the Orioles and at least one other team that had interest in adding him to their bullpen mix.
Ayala, 36, spent parts of the last two seasons with the Orioles, pitching to a 6-5 record and 2.81 ERA in 68 appearances before being traded to the Braves last April. He posted a 2.90 ERA in 37 appearances with Atlanta last season, and received interest from as many as a dozen teams this offseason before signing with the Nationals last month.
In six appearances with Washington during spring training, Ayala was 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in six innings. This performance meant that the Nats were not considering him for a bullpen spot, and the team released him yesterday in order to give him a chance to pursue other available opportunities.
Ayala joins right-handers Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Ryan Webb, Brad Brach and Josh Stinson in competition for a spot in the Orioles' bullpen. He could begin the year with Triple-A Norfolk with the hopes of performing well and joining the major league bullpen later in the year.