Olsen deal set, not final yet


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Pirates on Monday took the first step toward filling their starting rotation by reaching terms with free-agent left-hander Scott Olsen.

If he passes a physical later this week, Olsen, 26, will get a one-year contract. The deal is laden with incentives, due to Olsen’s recent history of shoulder injuries.

Over the past two seasons, Olsen battled shoulder problems and made just 26 starts. In that span, he’s thrown 143 2/3 innings and went 6-12 with a 5.76 ERA.

»»» The crowd stumbling through the lobby here at the Dolphin and Dolphin consists mostly of media, gathering rumors and making small talk. But other folk also pass through, including team officials, agents and players.

This morning, I chatted for a while with ex-Pirates reliever Salomon Torres. I recognized his face immediately, but what caught my eye was his Steelers cap. “I’m trying out for the Steelers next!” laughed Torres, who still lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and kids.

Torres is still trim and fit, and I wondered if he’d be up for another season in the Bucs’ bullpen. “No, my playing days are done,” he said. Torres is at the Winter Meetings trying to drum up business for his baseball academies in the Dominican Republic. He already has contracts with three MLB clubs. You may recall his hasty exit from the Pirates — he was traded to the Brewers for nothing — was soured when, as he claimed at the time, the team backed out of a handshake agreement for an academy.

»»» For fast-breaking Winter Meeting news, you can follow me on Twitter (@RobBiertempfel).