Scott Olsen Rumors

Nationals Outright Two, Olsen Elects Free Agency

The Nationals have outrighted left-handers Scott Olsen and Jesse English off the 40-man roster, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Olsen elected to become a free agent, and as Ladson says in a second tweet, English will become a minor league free agent this afternoon.

Olsen, 27 in January, has thrown just 143.2 innings over the last two years (5.76 ERA). He had shoulder surgery in 2009, and spent a total of 84 days on the disabled list in 2010 with soreness and inflammation in the same shoulder. Olsen has also had numerous run-ins with teammates and the law off-the-field throughout his career.

English, 26, made seven relief appearances with Washington this year, his first taste of the big leagues. He allowed ten hits in seven innings, but just three runs. He has worked both as a starter and reliever during his minor league career.


Odds & Ends: White Sox, Olsen, Adam, V-Mart

Another round of links for Wednesday, as Cliff Lee falls short of eight innings for the first time in two months…

  • The White Sox are cautiously optimistic about signing the team's top remaining unsigned picks, amateur scouting director Doug Laumann told MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
  • Scott Olsen made $250K in incentives for starting his 11th game of the season tonight, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
  • 2010 draftee Jason Adam is close to signing with the Royals, according to Daniel Paulling of the Kansas City Star. Adam, ranked by Baseball America as the 54th-best prospect in this year’s draft awaits approval from the commissioner’s office.
  • Victor Martinez told Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio that the Red Sox have not offered him an extension (Twitter link). The catcher hits free agency after the season.
  • The Yankees agreed to sign third-rounder Rob Segedin for a $377K bonus, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. Segedin, a third baseman, receives about $100K more than MLB’s recommended bonus for his slot.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explains why he believes the Rangers shouldn't try to sign Cliff Lee long-term just yet. It's probably a moot point, since Lee seems destined to reach the open market.
  • MLB owners and executives approved the sale of the Rangers to the group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). The final vote occurs tomorrow.

Odds & Ends: Green, Oswalt, Mets, Gaudin, Werth

Links for Saturday….



Odds & Ends: Hillman, Cubs, DeRosa, Marquis

Links for Wednesday, as Stephen Strasburg continues to dominate in the minors…

  • Royals manager Trey Hillman told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that he's as frustrated as ever about his club's slow start.
  • R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs is not completely convinced that Hank Blalock is the solution for the Rays, even as Pat Burrell's struggles continue. Blalock may exercise the opt-out clause in his contract in the coming week. ESPN.com's Buster Olney names the A's as a possible suitor for Blalock (Twitter link).
  • An Associated Press article on ESPN.com notes that the deadline for signing players with remaining college eligibility has been pushed back a day to August 16th this year because August 15th falls on a weekend.
  • RotoAuthority identifies Scott Olsen as a candidate to post a sub-4.00 ERA and respectable strikeout totals for your fantasy team going forward.
  • MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says the Cubs aren't about to make a deal any time soon.
  • If you have experience designing databases, MLBTR has a project for you. We’re interested in finding someone to design a searchable database for the site, so send an email to mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com if you are the right person for the job.
  • Mark DeRosa told MLB.com's Chris Haft that last year's wrist surgery was "a total failure."  With numbness in a couple fingers and ligaments "flapping all over the place again," DeRosa might need another procedure.  From Day 1, two years and $12MM was an aggressive commitment by the Giants.
  • In a similar vein, Nationals free agent signing Jason Marquis will likely miss another eight to ten weeks with surgery to remove spurs and bone chips from his elbow, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports asked Ken Griffey Jr. about retirement, and Junior said, "I'll figure it out when I get to that point."  The Mariners, meanwhile, have made a villain of Larry LaRue, the reporter who quoted a couple of unnamed players about a recent Griffey in-game clubhouse nap.

Nationals Pitchers With Major Incentives

The Nationals guaranteed over $22MM during the offseason to free agent pitchers, with the lion's share going to Jason Marquis.  But that total also includes three interesting signings, hurlers who scuffled in 2009 but had prior success.  Matt Capps, Chien-Ming Wang, and Scott Olsen were lured to Washington D.C. in part due to big-time incentive clauses.  Let's take a look.

  • Capps was non-tendered by the Pirates and drew interest from a dozen clubs.  It came down to the Nationals and Cubs, and Capps ultimately took a one-year, $3.5MM guarantee from the Nats.  They have the added bonus of controlling him in 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.  Capps' contract includes solid incentives for games finished – up to $425K.  He's already finished 16 games, tying Francisco Cordero for the MLB lead.  Capps should be able to max out his incentives this year and earn $3.925MM in total.
  • Wang signed for a $2MM base salary, and he's also arbitration-eligible after the season.  His incentives exceed his base, as he can tack on $3MM.  Wang is recovering from shoulder surgery and hasn't headed out on a rehab assignment quite yet, so it appears he won't max out his incentives.
  • If you blinked, you might've missed Scott Olsen's time as a free agent.  After earning $2.8MM in '09, Olsen was non-tendered on the December 10th deadline.  The Nats scooped him back up on the 13th with a $1MM base salary.  Olsen can earn $2.825MM in incentives based on starts, up to 33.  The 26-year-old southpaw is making over $85K extra per start.  He's already made five, and sports a 3.54 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9.  Like the others, the Nationals control Olsen for 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.  If he continues looking like the Olsen of '06, another non-tender is out of the question.

Odds & Ends: Offenses, Ben Snyder, Kelly Johnson

Action-packed links for Wednesday…


Odds & Ends: Stauffer, Twins, Tigers, Desmond

Links for Sunday….


Nationals Notes: GM Mike Rizzo Speaks

MLB.com's Bill Ladson caught up with Washington GM Mike Rizzo, and the results were quite interesting.

  • Rizzo says that while nothing is imminent, he's never finished improving his team, and talks to "ten general managers per day." In other words, the roster he starts the season with could include players not currently in camp.
  • Rizzo's biggest concern is his team's health, particularly Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang and Cristian Guzman.
  • The plan is not to rush Stephen Strasburg, though it is worth noting that Rizzo didn't explicitly rule out Strasburg starting the year in Washington.
  • Rizzo said the Nationals have begun to "dabble" in contract extension talks with Adam Dunn.

Nationals To Sign Scott Olsen

8:13pm: William Ladson of MLB.com (via Twitter) has received confirmation from the Nats.

6:53pm: One day after being non-tendered by the club, Scott Olsen has agreed to a one-year deal with the Nationals, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.  

While the base salary is just $1MM, Crasnick says that the deal could jump to nearly $4MM if he makes 33 starts.  Olsen made just 11 starts last season after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.  However, the soon-to-be 26-year-old made exactly 33 starts in 2007 and 2008 and 31 starts in '06.

In the aforementioned healthy seasons he spent with Florida, Olsen recorded an ERA of 4.65 with 6.6 K/9.

Last winter, Olsen avoided arbitration with the team by inking one-year, $2.8MM deal with the Nats.  The figure was closer to Washington's side as they were set to submit $2.5MM and he was seeking $3.5MM.


Non-Tendered Players

The deadline for teams to offer contract to their players with less than six years of service time is midnight ET tonight, so let's keep track off all the non-tenders here in one post. Make sure you check back in, we'll be updating this post throughout the day.