The Pirates do remain interested in Scott Olsen, Justin Duchscherer, Jeff Francis and other starting pitchers. The chance of signing Olsen is by far the greatest of this group.
Unfortunately, there’s a huge difference between signing someone like Webb – who at least has tremendous upside if he can show he’s healthy – and someone like Olsen, who is mediocre under just about every circumstance. Signing Webb would be infinitely preferable. It’s debatable whether Olsen is an upgrade over Zach Duke, who the Pirates already let go.
In other Winter Meetings news, the Red Sox have completed their trade with the Padres for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Orioles, meanwhile, are finishing up a trade for Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds. The Orioles are nowhere near contention, so trading a couple of young players for a veteran third baseman with big-time strikeout issues seems like a strange move.