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Infielder Garrett Atkins, who has been out of baseball since the Orioles designated him for assignment June 27, has signed a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team announced today.

Atkins, 31, batted just .214 with one homer and nine RBIs in 44 games for the Orioles after they signed before the 2010 season and installed the former Colorado Rockie as their regular first baseman.

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The Pirates signed first baseman Lyle Overbay earlier this offseason so I would think Atkins probably has an uphill battle to make their Opening Day roster. However, Atkins had his best years under new Pirates manager Clint Hurdle in Colorado so maybe that will get him going again.

The Orioles open their spring training schedule against the Pittsburgh Pirates in split-squad games on Feb. 28.

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