Orioles sign Meek and Cust to minor league deals

The Orioles have added to their spring training roster, signing right-hander Evan Meek to a minor league deal, according to a team official.

Meek, 30, will report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex, giving the Orioles 31 pitchers in camp.

Meek is 7-7 with a 3.34 ERA in 156 major league relief appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2008-2012.

The Texas Rangers signed Meek as a free agent on Dec. 6, 2012, and he went 6-9 with a 4.50 ERA in 33 games, including 15 starts, with Triple-A Round Rock. He didn't pitch in the majors last season.

Right-handers are batting .214 against Meeks in the majors, and left-handers are batting .229.

I heard at FanFest that the Orioles might sign another pitcher to a minor league deal with a spring invite. The odds were placed at 50/50.

Meek must be the man.

His addition could push the Orioles to announce their complete list of camp invites.

The Sun first reported Meek's signing.

Also, veteran outfielder Jack Cust, 34, signed a minor league deal and will report to Twin Lakes Park later this month.

Cust, attempting to make a comeback after sitting out the 2013 season, had a tryout at the mini-camp last month in Sarasota. He's not part of the major league camp roster.

Cust appeared in 27 games with the Orioles in 2003 and one in 2004. He hasn't played in the majors since 2011 with the Seattle Mariners.

USA Today is reporting that the Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers are the three finalists for free-agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo. The Diamondbacks are given a slight edge.

Arroyo continues to hold out for a third guaranteed year.

The Orioles also are viewed as finalists for starter A.J. Burnett, closer Fernando Rodney and Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon.

Former Orioles pitcher Curt Schilling, now an ESPN analyst, just issued the following statement:

"I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges. We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer. Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.

"My father left me with a saying that I've carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: "tough times don't last, tough people do." Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I'm ready to try and win another big game. I've been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I'll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on."

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