Orioles sign left-hander Phillips to vie for spot

Orioles sign left-hander Phillips to vie for spot

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips to a one-year contract on Wednesday. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated left-hander Chris Jones for assignment.

Philips, who took his physical on Tuesday night, had been in White Sox camp and elected for free agency last week. The O's are an appealing destination to Phillips, who was the last cut from Baltimore's camp in 2012, is familiar with the organization and has an opportunity to break camp with the big league team.

Left-handed reliever Brian Matusz has been dealing with a low back injury since his first outing of the spring and received a cortisone injection in the area on Sunday. His status for Opening Day is in question, manager Buck Showalter said on Tuesday, which could open up a spot for Phillips.

Phillips, 29, had a 3.21 ERA in 16 games in two seasons (2011-12) with the Orioles after being acquired from Texas in July 2011. He pitched for Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox organization last season, going 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 54 2/3 innings, 64 strikeouts and 12 saves over 46 relief appearances. In 365 career Minor League games (98 starts), he has gone 39-45 with a 3.85 ERA and 33 saves. He last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2013 for the Marlins.

Jones, 27, went 8-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 30 games (22 starts) for Triple-A Norfolk last season.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.