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12/20/2004 4:30 PM ET
Orioles sign Steve Kline, re-acquire Chris Gomez from Phillies
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The Orioles today announced that they have signed free agent LHP Steve Kline to a two-year contract. The 32-year reliever went 2-2 with a 1.79 ERA in 67 games for the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals this past season.

Kline, a durable left-hander who led the National League in appearances for three straight seasons, 1999-2001, has gone 27-30 with a 3.30 ERA in eight seasons in the majors. He began his career as a starter in the Cleveland organization but has pitched at least 66 games in each season since he reached the Majors as a reliever with the Indians in 1997. He pitched in more than 80 games each year from 1999 through 2001, and has averaged 78 appearances a year over the last seven seasons. The Indians traded him to Montreal in August 1997, and he spent four years with the Expos before being traded to the Cardinals in December 2000.

Left-handed batters hit just .143 (12-for-84) off him last season and have batted just .215 off him in his career. Kline allowed runs in only 10 of his 67 appearances this season and he did not allow an earned run in 33 home games (25.2 IP) at Busch Stadium. He also had 3 saves in 4 opportunities and 15 holds for the Cardinals in 2004.

Kline did not allow a run in 3 post-season appearances for the Cardinals in 2004 and has a 0.96 ERA in 13 career postseason appearances.

The Orioles also announced that they have acquired IF Chris Gomez from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for cash considerations. Gomez signed a minor league contract with the Orioles on December 8, then was selected by the Phillies in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft at last week's Winter Meetings. He batted .282 with 3 home runs and 37 RBI in 109 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season while playing all four infield positions. The 33-year-old has hit .256 in 12 big league seasons with Detroit, San Diego, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

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