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Right-Handed Reliever Luis Ayala, Marlins Agree to Terms

              The Marlins have agreed to terms with veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala, who cleared waivers on Thursday after being designated for assignment last week by the Minnesota Twins. Ayala's agent, Joe Longo, said the pitcher would report to New Orleans and join the Triple A club in Omaha.

             "He hasn't pitched in over two weeks, so he'll go down there for maybe three or four outings to make sure everything is working right," Longo said.Ayala

             Ayala, 31, has pitched for the Expos, Nationals, Mets and Twins during his six major-league seasons. He had appeared in 28 games for the Twins this season, going 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA.

             "He knows (Marlins general manager) Michael Hill and he's played for years with (Jorge) Cantu and (Alfredo) Amezaga for Mexico," Longo said. "I think he's got some familiarity with the (NL East) division, so I think it's a place where he's comfortable. We had interest from a handful of teams, but he wanted to go back to the NL East as much as possible. Once the Marlins called, we just started focusing on much."

            Ayala was earning $1.3 million this season. But the Marlins will only be required to pay him the pro-rated amount of the major league minimum, or less than $200,000.