The Pirates have finally grown tired of waiting for starter Scott Olsen to recover from the shoulder inflammation that landed him on the disabled list at the end of spring training.
According to beat writer Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Bucs released the left-hander on Saturday night.
Olsen signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Pirates this winter and had a $4 million club option for 2012, but he’ll end his tenure with the organization having not made a single start.
The 27-year-old southpaw turned in a 5.56 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 81 innings for the Nationals last season, allowing 27 walks against 53 strikeouts. He has a 4.85 career ERA, a 6.6 career K/9 and a 1.48 career WHIP. Another team will probably give him a shot.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.