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Cubs sign Tyler Olson to minor-league deal

Another lefty will be in camp hoping to help the bullpen.

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

One of these days we’ll have the complete list of non-roster invitees to spring training, which will include players who have signed minor-league deals with the Cubs as well as players from within the organization.

Until then, we have dribs and drabs of information coming out. Like this:

Tyler Olson, a 30-year-old lefthander, was the seventh-round pick of the Mariners out of Gonzaga in 2013. He pitched briefly for them, went to the Dodgers for a PTBNL in 2015, then was traded to the Yankees for Rob Segedin. A couple of waiver claims later, he was in Cleveland and pitched in 112 games for the Indians over the last three seasons, posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.372 WHIP. With Cleveland, he had a good K rate — 9.9 per nine innings — but also a somewhat elevated walk rate, 3.9 per nine innings.

He missed the last two months of 2019, but not with an injury — instead, it was shingles:

Olson surrendered three runs in his 1 1/3 innings of work Thursday — the final straw in what [manager Terry] Francona said has been a six-to-eight-week battle with shingles for Olson, who has a 4.40 ERA in 39 appearances this season.

“I’ve never had [shingles],” Francona said. “I’ve heard people that have had them say that they can be really debilitating. He’s been fighting his way through it. There’s been days that have been worse than others. So we’re going to let him take a deep breath and see if we can maybe get him treated more aggressively without the game hanging over his head.”

Hopefully, that’s all cleared up and he can compete for a spot in the bullpen.

Olson has kind of a funky sort-of-sidearm delivery, as you can see in this strikeout of the Tigers’ Brandon Dixon last July 16 [VIDEO], part of a one-hit shutout.

This isn’t a major acquisition by any means, but for now, it’s all we have.


Tyler Olson!

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