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Former Orioles left-hander T.J. McFarland joins Arizona Diamondbacks on minor league deal

Left-hander T.J. McFarland signed a minor league deal Friday with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ending any chance of an immediate reunion between the former Rule 5 draft pick and the Orioles, who waived him this week.

McFarland, who appeared in 121 games for the Orioles in four years since they selected him in the Rule 5 draft ahead of the 2013 season, was a roster casualty when the team acquired left-hander Vidal Nuno on Feb. 19 from the Seattle Mariners.

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He was placed on release waivers a week later, but the Orioles hoped a reunion was possible. McFarland received a place in the Diamondbacks major league camp on a minor league contract.

He was coming off a rough 2016 season that saw him battle a knee injury for most of the season and pitch to a 6.93 ERA in 16 major league appearances. Before that, he'd never appeared in fewer than 30 major league games as a swingman, frequently giving the team length in the bullpen and starting in the minors to keep his innings up.

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However, the organization's left-handed pitching depth grew to include Nuno, Chris Lee, Richard Bleier, and Jed Bradley in addition to major league reliever Donnie Hart.

McFarland finds a clearer path to a major league role in Arizona, though he'll be competing with former Orioles teammate Brian Matusz for opportunities in the spring.

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