Scott Olsen’s time on the unemployment line didn’t last long. One day after being nontendered by the Nationals, the left-hander signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with Washington.
According to a source familiar with the deal, Olsen will earn $1 million in base salary. Incentives, though, would increase the deal to $3 million if he makes 25 starts and nearly $4 million if he makes 33 starts.
Olsen, 25, was nontendered by the Nationals before Saturday’s midnight deadline because as an arbitration-eligible player he would have been guaranteed a salary of at least $2.24 million in 2010. The Nationals weren’t willing to take that chance with a pitcher coming off major shoulder surgery.
Olsen, though, recently completed his rehabilitation program and was cleared to prepare for spring training as he normally would. He’s expected to compete for a spot in Washington’s Opening Day rotation, which currently has only one guaranteed member: John Lannan.
Acquired from the Florida Marlins along with Josh Willingham last winter for Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers, Olsen went 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA in 11 starts before undergoing surgery for a torn labrum. In three previous big league seasons with the Marlins, though, he averaged 10 wins, a 4.65 ERA and 186 1/3 innings pitched.