As expected, the Pirates and Scott Olsen have agreed to a one-year contract with a team option for 2012.
Olsen, who’s gone 24-38 with a 5.17 ERA since a solid rookie season in 2006, will try to resurrect his career in Pittsburgh while earning $500,000 in base salary with another $3 million in potential incentives.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com the Pirates will also hold a $4 million option on Olsen for 2012, giving them a chance to retain him at a somewhat reasonable rate just in case he finally breaks through with a big year at age 27.
Pittsburgh is close to signing left-hander Scott Olsen to an incentive-laden one-year contract, according to both Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Langosch reports that the deal will be completed once Olsen passes a physical exam later this week, although given his history of shoulder problems that’s no sure thing.
Olsen was once a promising young starter for the Marlins, winning a dozen games with a 4.04 ERA as a 22-year-old rookie in 2006, but he’s gone 24-38 with a 5.17 ERA since then and had a 5.56 ERA for the Nationals this year.
He’s still just 26 years old, but Olsen’s average fastball has hovered in the high-80s for the past few seasons and he’s never had good control. Given his extreme righty-lefty splits Olsen might have some success transitioning to the bullpen, but every indication is that the Pirates view him as a full-time starter.