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Orioles lose left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser to Cubs off waivers

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
The Orioles, at least for now, won't have a 31st pitcher in camp. The Cubs claimed C.J. Riefenhauser.

The Chicago Cubs on Friday claimed left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser off waivers from the Orioles, who designated him for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Odrisamer Despaigne last week.

The Orioles had been planning to invite Riefenhauser to major league camp had he cleared waivers, but instead they remain with 30 pitchers coming to big league spring training when pitchers and catchers report next week.

Riefenhauser, who ended last season with the Tampa Bay Rays, is now on his fourth team since he last pitched in a major league game. The Rays sent him to the Seattle Mariners in a deal that netted three major league pieces for Tampa Bay, then the Orioles acquired him with first baseman Mark Trumbo for catcher Steve Clevenger three weeks later.

A participant in last month’s pitching minicamp, the 26-year-old Riefenhauser has appeared in 24 major league games over two seasons, with a 6.30 ERA. He has had much more success in the minor leagues though, with his 1.094 career minor league WHIP and 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings indicating he could still be a useful major league bullpen piece.

Riefenhauser was expected to be one of several left-handed bullpen options in camp behind Brian Matusz, including T.J. McFarland, Chris Jones, Chris Lee and Jeff Beliveau.

Around the horn

The Orioles have announced the hiring of former New York Mets and San Diego Padres general manager Joe McIlvaine, 68, as senior advisor, player personnel. An Orioles scout in the 1970s, McIlvaine served as GM of the Padres from 1991 to 1993 and was Mets GM from 1993 to 1997. ... Former Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter, who they traded to the Cubs at the nonwaiver deadline last season, has signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.

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