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Orioles sign Korean lefty, invite 14 more to spring training

The Baltimore Orioles announced Monday that they have signed and invited 14 non-roster players to spring training, along with inking Korean left-hander Seong-Min Kim to a minor-league contract.

Kim, who turns 18 on April 26, is the latest international acquisition by Dan Duquette, Baltimore's executive vice president of baseball operations. The Orioles also signed Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada and Taiwanese southpaw Wei-Yin Chen to major-league deals.

Kim is a 5-foot-11 left-hander who throws a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider and had been pitching for the 18-and-under South Korean national team.

"We are glad to sign a player that our scouts feel is one of the top amateur left-handed pitchers in South Korea," Duquette said in a statement. "Kim has an excellent curveball and very good control."

Baltimore's set of 14 non-roster invitees includes several with major-league experience.

The Orioles have signed left-handers Ryan Edell and Dennys Reyes and righties Willie Eyre, Armando Galarraga, Steve Johnson, Jon Link, Pat Neshek, Miguel Socolovich and Oscar Villareal.

The position players invited are catchers John Hester, Ronny Paulino and Brian Ward, outfielder Scott Beerer and infielder Steve Tolleson.

Galarraga highlights the group of pitchers, as he famously fell one out shy of a perfect game in 2010 with the Detroit Tigers. Last year, he went 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent the rest of the year with Class AAA Reno.

Neshek pitched to a 4.01 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the San Diego Padres in 2011 and is five years removed from posting a 2.94 ERA in 74 appearances for the Minnesota Twins.

Eyre posted a 3.44 ERA in 19 games for the Orioles last season. Reyes, a veteran of parts of 15 seasons, appeared in four games for the Red Sox last year and pitched to a 2.63 ERA in 325 big-league appearances from 2006-10.

Villarreal posted a 2.80 ERA in 43 games with Monterrey of the Mexican League and appeared in two games with Class AAA Albuquerque last year. He has pitched 258 major league games, but none since 2008.

Paulino batted .268 in 78 games with the Mets in 2011. Hester, who pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2009-10, played for Class AAA Norfolk last year. Tolleson batted .286 in 25 games with the Oakland Athletics in 2010.

Orioles pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 19, and the first full-squad workout will take place Feb. 24.

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