Orioles sign righty reliever Luis Ayala

Luis Ayala has returned to the Orioles.
Luis Ayala has returned to the Orioles. (USATSI)

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The Orioles have signed reliever Luis Ayala, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The right-hander had been in camp with the Nationals, but he asked for his release on Wednesday after it became clear he wouldn't make the team.

Ayala, 36, spent 2012 and the first half of 2013 with Baltimore before being dealt to the Braves. He had a 3.27 ERA (121 ERA+) with an excellent 58.9 percent ground ball rate in 33 total innings last season. Ayala missed more than two months due to a bout with anxiety disorder in 2013.

The Orioles have a very crowded bullpen, with Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz and Ryan Webb the only locks. Ayala will have to compete for a spot with out of options players like Zach Britton, Kelvin De La Cruz and Josh Stinson.

Terms of Ayala's new contract with the Orioles are unknown. It could very well be a minor league deal.

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