Cubs Sign Former Indians LHP Tyler Olson to Minors Deal

You’ll never believe this, but the Cubs have signed another pitcher to a minor-league deal. As first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the club has reached an agreement with lefty Tyler Olson that will pay him $650,000 if he makes the roster. Though it wasn’t specified, the assumption is that the deal includes an invite to spring training.

The 30-year-old Olson has logged 3.83 ERA in 94 MLB innings across parts of five seasons with the Mariners, Yankees, and Indians. He had a breakout in 2017, pitching 20 scoreless innings and putting up 0.5 fWAR over 30 appearances with Cleveland. Other than that, he’s been decidedly mediocre.

A typical soft-tossing lefty, Olson works primarily with a fastball and curve. He’ll mix in a changeup for good measure, but it’s really just there to give a different look. That curve can get a little slurvy, which leads some services to categorize it as a slider. Interestingly enough, that pitch grades out quite well.

If there’s one thing Olson really has going for him, it’s that he’s not a LOOGY. Though he has traditionally performed better against left-handed hitters, neither his usage nor his splits are very pronounced. That’s a good trait in this new era of three-batter minimums, especially for a lefty.

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