BALTIMORE -- The Orioles welcomed Steve Trachsel back into the fold with a Minor League contract Monday, marking the second straight season that the veteran has signed with Baltimore shortly before Spring Training. Trachsel signed on to replace the injured Kris Benson last spring and will compete for a vacant back-end rotation slot this year.
The Orioles created an extra hole in the rotation with last week's trade of staff ace Erik Bedard, and team executives acknowledged immediately that they'd like to sign a veteran to take stress off the remaining youngsters. Trachsel, who has a 141-154 career record, has made 25 or more starts in each of the last 12 seasons.
Trachsel, a 15-year veteran, has played for five different big league teams. He made 25 starts for the Orioles last season, helping stabilize the staff after an early injury to Adam Loewen. Trachsel allowed three earned runs or less 17 times for Baltimore and netted Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry when he was traded to the Cubs on Aug. 31, 2007.
The Orioles currently have three rotation spots marked for incumbents -- Loewen, Jeremy Guthrie and Daniel Cabrera -- and two that appear to be open. Trachsel, 37, will compete with a group of prospects headlined by southpaws Troy Patton and Garrett Olson and featuring right-handers Hayden Penn and Matt Albers.
Baltimore's three returning starters have a combined career record of 55-60, and the Orioles don't want to flank them with a pair of even less experienced arms. Enter Trachsel, who went 6-8 with a 4.48 ERA for Baltimore last season. Trachsel will be the 18th non-roster invitee at Spring Training, which opens in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., later in the week.
The Orioles concluded some other business Tuesday by reaching terms with both Olson and left fielder Luke Scott. Olson, who's expected to compete for the final rotation slot, went 9-7 with a 3.16 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk last season. Scott, acquired in the Miguel Tejada trade, batted .255 with 18 home runs for the Astros in 2007.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.