Garrett Olson Rumors
SUNDAY: Olson will sign with the Doosan Bears, tweets Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net.
SATURDAY: The Athletics announced that they have released pitcher Garrett Olson so that he can pursue a pitching opportunity in Korea. The left-hander signed a minor league deal with Oakland back in December but wasn't likely to make the squad.
Olson has spent parts of the last six seasons in the major leagues with the Orioles, Mariners, Pirates, and Mets. The 29-year-old has a career 6.26 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9, including 44 starts. Olson made 21 starts and 13 relief appearances for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate last season and posted a 4.63 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
The Athletics reportedly had meetings lined up in Nashville today with the representatives for Hiroyuki Nakajima and Stephen Drew, as the team's search for a shortstop continues. Here's more on that front, along with the rest of the latest A's notes:
- Oakland is "kicking the tires" on just about every shortstop out there, but isn't close on anyone, says Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Yunel Escobar was appealing to the A's in part because he wasn't expected to have significant trade value, so Oakland doesn't want to get in a bidding war for him, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Within the same piece, Slusser notes that GM Billy Beane's preference is for a shortstop that can make an impact in 2013. A long-term piece isn't necessarily something the team wants, with prospect Addison Russell in the pipeline.
- The A's finalized a number of minor league signings, according to Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Kyler Newby, Luke Montz, Justin Thomas, Garrett Olson, Scott Moore, Darwin Perez, and Mike Ekstrom were added by Oakland.
A total of 28 players -- all with big league time under their belts -- recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages...
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
We'll keep track of today's outright assignments in this post ...
- The Mets have outrighted left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson to Triple-A Buffalo, the team announced (via Twitter). Olson pitched in just one-third of an inning with the Mets this season before being designated for assignment on Saturday and subsequently clearing waivers.
Olson, 28, saw just one-third of an inning with the Mets this year when he pitched against the Marlins in a blowout loss on Wednesday. In 104 career big league appearances, Olson has a 6.26 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.
Hefner, 25, was claimed by the Pirates from the Padres in November but designated for assignment by Pittsburgh on Friday. The 25-year-old posted a 4.98 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, and 1.2 HR/9 in 157 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year. Baseball America ranked him 15th among Padres prospects prior to the season, noting that his "three average offerings and feel for the strike zone make him ideally suited to fit in the back of a rotation."
May, 27, hit .238/.330/.427 in 286 Triple-A plate appearances this year for the Diamondbacks' and Royals' affiliates. Olson, 28, is a former first-round draft pick who posted a 3.05 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 0.7 HR/9 in 85 2/3 Triple-A innings for the Pirates' affiliate.
WEDNESDAY: Olson cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
FRIDAY: The Pirates announced that they designated Garrett Olson for assignment to create roster space for another southpaw, Joe Beimel. After a stint on the disabled list due to elbow inflammation, Beimel is set to pitch for the Pirates for the first time since 2003.
Pittsburgh claimed Olson from the Mariners in March and he allowed two hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and posting a 2.08 ERA. Last year, the 27-year-old posted a 4.54 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 37.1% ground ball rate in 37 2/3 innings of relief with the Mariners. Olson, a 2005 first rounder, started 33 games for the Orioles in 2007-08 before they traded him.
Links for Saturday evening..
- New to Arizona, J.J. Putz tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he's a perfect fit for the Diamondbacks.
- Second baseman Josh Barfield is competing for a utility spot on the Phillies but isn't concerned with talk of Luis Castillo, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
- Brian MacPherson and Tim Britton of The Providence Journal wonder how much longer Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will continue to play. Varitek could be asked to backup Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2011 but could still be given plenty of playing time in a platoon. McPherson set the over/under at 2.5 years but Britton takes the under, pointing out that the list of catchers who have played the most games is chock full of players who retired before reaching 40-years-old. The team captain will celebrate his 39th birthday in less than a month.
- Pirates left-hander Joe Beimel was scratched again due to elbow pain today, which seems to contradict what GM Neal Huntington said yesterday after picking up Garrett Olson off of waivers, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Huntington insisted yesterday that the addition of Olson was not motivated by concern about Beimel or Scott Olsen.
- Pittsburgh right-hander Kevin Hart was on the bubble for a roster spot with the club and out of options for 2011, but the club will now have more time to consider him after a shoulder injury sent him to the 60-day DL, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs rallies against the tyranny of the corner label.
- Red Sox veteran David Ortiz told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the pressure isn't off, even with the new additions.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) hears from a talent evaluator that the best way for Kevin Millwood to get back to the big leagues is by signing with a team and pitching in games. "That's no way to win a job -- sitting at home," said the source. Millwood's fastball was clocked at 85 mph during a recent workout.
- The Rangers ackowledge that Chris Davis has opened some eyes with his strong Spring Training, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. He's under consideration for a roster spot, though teams have inquired about his availability.
- Now without star second baseman Dan Uggla, the Marlins are once again in a transitional phase, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- While he really enjoyed his time in Houston, Lance Berkman is happy to be with the Cardinals, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
The Pirates claimed Garrett Olson off of waivers from the Mariners, the teams have announced.
Olsen, 27, posted a 4.54 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 37.1% ground ball rate in 37 2/3 innings of relief for the Mariners last year. It was his second season in Seattle after two seasons with the Orioles, the organization that drafted him in the first round of the 2005 draft.
Olson figures to compete with Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen for left-handed relief jobs in manager Clint Hurdle's bullpen once he arrives in Pirates camp. Kirby Arnold of the Daily Herald first reported the claim.
Spring Training notes from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The Rockies appear to have the rotation depth to trade starter Aaron Cook, once he's healthy. Of course, they weren't able to move Cook last year. The 32-year-old sinkerballer is dealing with shoulder and finger injuries, and could be back around May 15th. He's owed $9.25MM this year, plus another million bucks if traded and a potential $500K buyout after the season. I think it'll have to be a bad contract swap if another team is to take him in June or July.
- Rosenthal explains that at least five non-roster players "stand reasonable chances" of making the Mariners, meaning they may have to do some major 40-man roster housecleaning. 27-year-old southpaw Garrett Olson is already on waivers. The former first-round pick tossed 37 2/3 relief innings for Seattle last year, and he continued to be plagued by the longball. Olson was better in Triple-A, but it was his fourth stint at the level.