Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that left-hander Scott Olsen has agreed to a minor-league contract with the White Sox, who add some rotation depth in case they continue to trade more veteran pitchers.
Once upon a time Olsen was a top prospect and had a strong rookie season for the Marlins as a 22-year-old in 2006, but since then he’s been injured and ineffective with a 5.17 ERA in 522 innings.
Olsen didn’t pitch in the majors or minors last season after being cut by the Pirates and will have to show that he’s recovered from shoulder problems.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.