BY John Hickey 12:53PM 03/18/2011

Mariners need roster space, so Olson’s gone

Veteran left-hander claimed on waivers by the Pirates as Mariners open up another spot on the 40-man roster.

Garrett Olson - Seattle Mariners - 2010 -1

Lefty Garrett Olson was claimed on waivers from Seattle by Pittsburgh Friday morning / Ben Van Houten / Mariners

The Mariners lost left-handed starter/reliever Garrett Olson Friday morning when the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed him off waivers, although “lost’’ is probably not the correct word.

Olson, a soft-thrower who has spent the last two seasons with the Mariners, had appeared in five games this spring with a 5.40 ERA. He’d hoped to land a job in the Seattle rotation this spring, but it had become clear in the last week he was not going to make the 25-man roster come April 1.

The Mariners, who got Olson in the 2009 trade of Aaron Heilman to the Cubs, put him on waivers not because they wanted to lose him, but they needed to create space on the 40-man roster for non-roster players who are going to have to be added to the roster.

Seattle now has 36 men on the 40-man roster, and at a minimum three non-roster players are going to make the team – outfielder Ryan Langerhans, reliever Chris Ray and infielder Adam Kennedy. There are 13 other non-roster players in camp, and a couple more have outside shots at making the team – outfielder Gabe Gross is one, catcher Josh Bard is one and right-handed reliever Denny Bautista is another.

Olson, who was 3-8 with one save and a 5.26 ERA in his time with the Mariners, will be joining his fourth big league team after the Orioles, Cubs and Mariners.
Talking to the Tacoma News Tribune Friday morning, said he liked his time in Seattle.

“It’s hard to leave,’’ Olson said. “The last couple of years, I’ve met so many players, so many fans; it was like family. This game is like a fraternity, and I’m excited to go to Pittsburgh. That’s the story of baseball.’’

Twitter: @JHickey3


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