The Pirates have released pitcher Scott Olsen, Rob Biertempfel tweets. Olsen had hamstring problems in Spring Training and never really got ready to pitch. The Pirates don't really need him at the moment, but it's surprising that they would release him from a major-league deal at this early point. Neal Huntington:
"We believed we were not going to have a good opportunity for Scott and made this move to allow him to find a better situation."
I suppose that Olsen's base salary ($450,000, plus a $100,000 buyout in 2012) was not much more than the major-league minimum, so if catches on as a major-leaguer with some other team and that team pays him the minimum for the rest of the season, the Pirates will be off the hook for a big chunk of what they currently owe Olsen. Jeff Karstens' solid pitching in place of Ross Ohlendorf might have affected the Bucs' decision, but it also wouldn't shock me if there were details here we don't know about, like Olsen's injuries being more extensive than reported, or him really annoying the Pirates' coaches, or something. Obviously, that's speculation; more details as we get them. I have no problem with the Pirates releasing him, but then I wasn't a fan of the idea of signing him in the first place.