Orioles sign Dontrelle Willis to minor league deal

The Baltimore Orioles have signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Willis, who was released by the Phillies last Friday, made 13 starts for the Cincinnati Reds last season, posting a 1-6 record with a 5.00 earned run average, but was auditioning to become the Phillies' left-handed specialist out of the bullpen.

It would have been the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year's first stint in the bullpen of his career.

Willis, though, struggled in his three spring training appearances for Philadelphia, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks with no strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

He has a career 72-69 record with a 4.17 ERA in 205 games -- 202 starts -- with Florida, Detroit, Arizona and Cincinnati.