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02/03/10 5:41 PM ET

Sarfate clears waivers, sent to Norfolk

Reliever will compete for bullpen slot at Spring Training

BALTIMORE -- Make room for an extra arm. The Orioles announced Wednesday that Dennis Sarfate has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, a move that comes on the heels of the Miguel Tejada signing. Sarfate was moved off the 40-man roster to make room for Tejada and will report to Spring Training as a non-roster player, where he'll fight with a deep pool of candidates for a bullpen slot.

Sarfate, who was originally acquired when the Orioles traded Tejada to Houston, spent much of last season on the disabled list with a circulatory condition in his right hand. The 28-year-old pitched to a 0-1 record and a 5.09 ERA last season, but pronounced himself healthy and back to his peak velocity after a successful stint in the Mexican Winter League.

Baltimore's bullpen appears to be fairly well determined in the weeks leading up to Spring Training. Michael Gonzalez is set to be the closer, and Jim Johnson will reprise his duties as setup man. Baltimore also has Koji Uehara to use in a relief role, and Mark Hendrickson's signing will likely be announced soon. That leaves three spots, and several arms to compete for them.

Cla Meredith would seem to be a favorite for one of the remaining vacancies, and Sarfate will also have to compete with Matt Albers, who came over from Houston with him two years ago. Baltimore may also consider Kam Mickolio for a bullpen slot, and former starters David Hernandez and Jason Berken may well convert to relief work at some point in Spring Training.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.