The Pirates signed lefty Scott Olsen, the team announced. Olsen will earn about $500K with a chance to make another $3MM in incentives based on starts. The deal includes a $4MM club option for 2012. Olsen is represented by Sosnick Cobbe Sports.
Olsen, 27 in January, posted a 5.56 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 46.5% groundball rate in 81 innings for the Nationals this year. He had labrum surgery in July of '09, and shoulder soreness lingered into the 2010 season. He pitched well through his first seven starts, with a 3.15 ERA in those 40 innings. ESPN's Keith Law wrote, "To have value to the Pirates he'll need to locate his fastball better and improve his barely-average changeup."
Olsen joins Kevin Correia as the new members of Pittsburgh's rotation, which lost Zach Duke to a trade and could see Paul Maholm depart as well. Ross Ohlendorf and James McDonald figure to take a couple of spots.