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The Orioles have signed left-handed reliever Mike Hinckley to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.

Hinckley, 27, pitched in 14 games for the Washington Nationals last season, posting a 4.66 ERA despite walking 11 batters in 9 2/3 innings. He made 14 appearances for the Nationals in 2008 and didn't allow a run. Overall, lefties have hit .161 against Hinckley in his 28 big league outings.

Hinckley signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers in May after he was designated for assignment by the Nationals. With the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate this past season, he went 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 33 games.

The Orioles are considering signing a left-handed setup man in free agency. If they don't, Hinckley and holdovers Alberto Castillo and Wilfrido Perez could compete for the job.

In other news, the Orioles have hired Chris Bourjos as a special assignment scout, replacing Dave Hollins, who left the organization in October to join the Philadelphia Phillies' scouting department.

Bourjos, 55, has been a scout for more than two decades, most recently with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played 13 games as an outfielder with the San Francisco Giants in 1980 and spent 1981 and 1982 in the Orioles' system. He will focus on pro and international scouting in his new role.

Hollins, 43, was an Orioles scout for four seasons.

Jay Shiner, the Orioles' strength and conditioning coach for the past three seasons, has left the team to take a managerial position at a Baltimore-area fitness club. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the Orioles are in the process of hiring Shiner's replacement.


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