The Pirates began their winter meetings with a thud by reaching an agreement with starting pitcher Scott Olsen, formerly of the Nationals and Marlins, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Both Lanosch and the Post-Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic write that the deal will be for one year and will feature lots of incentives, perhaps with a base salary of around $1 million.
That’s certainly cheap enough that one can’t really argue much, since Olsen is still pretty young and had some success at the beginning of his career, but he has had ugly ERAs two years in a row, has a long track record of being a jerk, has had injury issues, and is about to join forces with one of baseball’s worst defenses. If he doesn’t pull it together, at least it won’t cost the Pirates much, but this hardly seems like a match made in heaven. He’s cheaper than Zach Duke would have been, but it it’s far from clear to me that Olsen is better.
The deal will become official if Olsen passes a physical. If he does, he’ll compete for a spot in the rotation alongside Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln and whoever else the Pirates end up bringing in.