Left-hander Kevin Hickey, who was released by the Baltimore Orioles last week, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the club and will join the Class AA Hagerstown Suns.
"We talked with him this morning," Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin said. "We had made that offer to him when we placed him on waivers, and he came back today and accepted it."
The club apparently was not going to announce the signing until today, but Hickey took matters into his own hands last night during an appearance on Jeff Rimer's WBAL Radio talk show.
Hickey, 35, is not eligible to play in the majors until May 15 because he re-signed as a free agent with the same club that released him before the start of the season. He was not claimed on waivers even though he gave up just two runs in eight exhibition innings.
Last year, Hickey was 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA in 37 relief appearances for the Orioles. He also spent 1 1/2 months with the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings.
"It works out for him," Melvin said. "He has set up housekeeping here, and he'll be able to commute between here and Hagerstown."
The Orioles chose to leave Florida with non-roster invitee Paul Kilgus as the left-handed middle-relief man. Left-hander Joe Price also is in the minor-league system. He becomes eligible for major-league play May 1.