Olson happy to be back; Nunez back in the picture

Let’s be honest: The York Revolution’s signing of Jason Olson on Wednesday was not the sexiest acquisition of the offseason.

Still, it was a very important one for the Revs.

jason-olson.jpgIn the Atlantic League, you definitely need a reliever with a rubber arm capable of going out there nearly every day. And that’s what Olson provided for York last season. He made 42 appearances and posted a 4.03 ERA in 67 innings. The right-hander, who is three years removed from pitching with the Los Angeles Angels in Triple-A, also said he’s hoping to make 50 appearances this season — a reasonable aspiration considering the league will go to a 140-game format this year.

“I was happy with my overall season (last year) even though I got a little tired at the end,” Olson, 29, said on Wednesday. “But I’m well-rested and I took four months off without picking up a baseball. My goal is to pitch in 50 games and hopefully I’ll be able to conquer that goal.”

Read more about Olson’s offseason and his Pennsylvania hunting fortunes here.

Nunez in the mix: The Revolution’s director of baseball operations, Adam Gladstone, confirmed on Wednesday that York is pursuing Franklin Nunez.

The right-handed reliever — a pitcher who features a 93 mph fastball and a devastating slider — was cut by the Milwaukee Brewers recently. He signed with the Brewers with three weeks remaining in the Atlantic League season last year after providing the Revolution with a 2.76 ERA and 12 saves in 32 2/3 innings.

“He’s going to talk with his agent and obviously his goal is to get another organizational job,” Gladstone said. “We’ll keep the lines of communication going.”

1835274.jpgNunez could pull off a move very similar to last year. He lives in Tampa, Fla. and joined York in spring training midway through the first week of workouts in ’07. His proximity to the TigerTown Complex in Lakeland, Fla. — the site of the Revs’ spring training — would make it an easy commute again this April.

If he does sign with York, it would make the closer battle in camp very interesting. Wayne Franklin has expressed interest in that role this year and Dave Veres has 95 career saves in the major leagues. But Nunez throws harder than both of them, so it would make for an intriguing race.

Decision on Redman coming soon: The Baltimore Orioles informed Chris Roberson, Chris Heintz, Eider Torres and Oscar Salazar that they wouldn’t make the Orioles’ opening day roster today — moves that leave Tike Redman’s hopes of starting the year in the big leagues alive. Read more about the O’s roster situation in this Baltimore Sun story.

tike-redman.jpgRedman’s battling utility man Scott Moore and Jay Gibbons — whose 15-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs could be overturned by Major League Baseball. Moore, 24, is younger than Redman and has hit .394 this spring. His versatility could force Redman to the minors, although the former Revolution outfielder has a .289 average this spring.

This story got more interesting because of the latest on Gibbons. Initially, the club thought it had an extra roster spot to play with for the first two weeks because of his suspension. But now that it appears he could start the year with Baltimore, that would leave Redman in a tight spot. Gibbons’ contract is too costly to just write off the books, as the Sun’s article explains.

News on other former Revs: According to Olson, former Revolution pitcher Bryan Edwards has landed a comfortable job and is currently retired. Edwards spent time with Camden, Bridgeport and York last year but became one of the Revolution’s most reliable starters in the second half (4.40 August ERA/3.80 September ERA). Edwards had a 5-4 record with a 4.96 ERA in 98 innings with York last year and made headlines shortly after his acquisition for saying he was more comfortable in a bullpen role than starting games. Check out the rest of his stats from last season with York here.

Gladstone also confirmed that the club is not pursuing outfielder Joe Jiannetti. Instead, York has given Jiannetti — a .333 hitter with two home runs and 19 RBIs in 32 games with the Revs last summer — permission to talk with other Atlantic League teams. Jiannetti was an Atlantic League All-Star in 2006 after hitting .319 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs for Atlantic City. He also owns the league’s all-time record for a hitting streak at 28 games. His career numbers are here.

Another Dykstra coming up: For you Phillies fans out there, The New York Times has an interesting piece on Lenny Dykstra’s son, Cutter, who is a top prospect in the upcoming major league draft. Read the story here.


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