BALTIMORE -- The Orioles, seeking to add a veteran reliever, have agreed to sign right-hander Jon Rauch to a Minor League deal, pending a physical.
Baltimore had some interest in Rauch this winter, although he eventually signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Marlins. The 34-year-old, who will join the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Va., on the road early next week, was designated for assignment by Miami on May 17 and later released. He is 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA in 15 games this season.
"Sometimes with a new team, it doesn't work out right away," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "Sometimes when you're a veteran pitcher, it takes a little more time to get into the swing of things. That's really what we're taking a look at."
Rauch has an opt-out in his contract on June 18, which should enable both sides to determine whether the agreement is working out. Rauch has career ERA of 3.90 over an 11-year big league career, and he will be joining his ninth different club. Duquette likened his experience as being similar to that of the departed Luis Ayala.
"He's a qualified Major League reliever," Duquette said of Rauch. "He had a really good year last year. He can set up and hold a game, and he can also save a game. He's got over 60 saves (62) in his Major league career, so he's a good veteran relief presence, and we'll take a look at him at Triple-A and see how it goes."
The Orioles' bullpen, highly successful last season, hasn't been able to replicate that success, and Rauch is expected provide another right-handed option, particularly given the recent loss of Alex Burnett, who was claimed by the Chicago Cubs off waivers and designated again on Saturday.
Duquette seemed encouraged with the club's left-handed options in Norfolk, singling out reliever Mike Belfiore and Chris Jones, who was acquired from Atlanta in exchange for Ayala.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.