Barnes, 27, didn’t pitch in the major leagues this past season, spending the entire year with the Indians’ Triple-A team in Columbus, Ohio. He went 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 25 appearances, all but one in coming in relief.
Barnes held opposing hitters to a .193 batting average in 2014, getting both left-handed (.191 average) and right-handed (.194) batters out with success. He also averaged 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, posting 35 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings pitched.
In 22 major league appearances -- all in relief and with the Indians in the 2012 and 2013 seasons -- Barnes is 0-1 with a 5.20 ERA.
Barnes has no minor league options remaining, so he can't be outrighted to the minor leagues without first clearing waivers. The Indians designated Barnes for assignment Sunday in order to create 40-man roster space.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message that Barnes possesses “a good arm and sharp slider that he uses to get out both left-handed and right-handed hitters.”
One of the Orioles’ top offseason priorities this season is to add dependable left-handed relief options, especially since it currently appears they will lose left-hander Andrew Miller to free agency.
Barnes is the second left-handed reliever the Orioles have added to the 40-man roster in recent weeks. They also claimed Patrick McCoy off waivers from the Detroit Tigers in late October.
The Orioles also officially announced Wednesday the signing of infielder Rey Navarro to a major league deal.
Navarro, 24, has played both middle infield positions in the minors, but Orioles scouts like him as a second baseman. He also posted a .343 on-base percentage at the Triple-A level last season and has hit 12 homers in each of the previous two seasons.
With the additions of Barnes and Navarro, the Orioles currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster. Both players will receive invitations to major league spring training.