Akerfelds, 30, a right-hander who had a 2-1 record and a 5.26 ERA in 30 games with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, will report to spring training with the Red Wings, but will get an opportunity to make the parent club.
"We feel he's got a chance to come up and help us," said Orioles general manager Roland Hemond last night. "We've liked him at various stages of his career. We just look at him with an open mind and hope he can help us down the road."
Hemond said Akerfelds, who was mostly a reliever last season with the Phillies, will start some games for Rochester.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Denver native pitched in 11 games with the Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons last season, going 3-3 with a 6.32 ERA before he was called up to Philadelphia.
Akerfelds was a No. 1 draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1983 and had pitched for the Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Texas on the major-league level before he was obtained by the Phillies from the Rangers for cash in March 1990.
His first major-league win came against the Orioles at Memorial Stadium in August 1987, while he was with Cleveland.