The competition for bullpen spots on the Orioles roster got a little deeper this morning.
The club announced that it signed right-hander Reed Garrett to a minor league contract, which could put him on the list of spring training invites.
Pitchers and catchers report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Feb. 15, with the first workout held the following day.
Garrett, 30, made seven relief appearances with the Nationals last season and allowed seven earned runs (eight total) with 13 hits, eight walks and six strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The Richmond native had his contract selected on June 14 after a three-year absence from the majors.
The Nationals used Garrett in three June games and three more in July. He served as the 29th man in an Oct. 4 doubleheader and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Mets.
Five of the seven runs allowed in 2022 came over two-thirds of an inning July 5 in Philadelphia. Garrett had a 3.04 ERA in 42 games with Triple-A Rochester.
Garrett was designated for assignment Dec. 22 after Washington claimed infielder Jeter Downs off waivers. He elected free agency earlier this month.
The Rangers drafted Garrett in the 16th round in 2014 out of VMI. The Tigers selected him in the 2018 Rule 5 draft and he lasted until May 20, appearing in 13 games and posting an 8.22 ERA and 2.413 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings.
The gap between major league outings was filled in Japan, where Garrett pitched for the Seibu Lions in 2020-21 and registered a 3.46 ERA in 110 games.
The Garrett signing probably does little to influence the opening day roster, with no shortage of bullpen candidates among returning relievers and the additions of veteran Mychal Givens and Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi. But the Orioles are addressing their Triple-A depth, as well, and giving themselves options in case of injuries and ineffectiveness.
Garrett has minor league options remaining, which provides the Orioles with some flexibility if they put him on the 40-man roster.