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March 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Garrett Olson caught off-guard by today’s waiver claim, but says his best is still to come

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Garrett Olson had nothing but positives to say about the Mariners and his teammates moments ago as he prepared to leave for Bradenton, Fla., home of his new Pittsburgh Pirates team.
So, he isn’t blaming anyone or making excuses for why the team tried to put him through waivers so he could be taken off the 40-man roster.
But when I asked Olson whether, with the addition of Aaron Laffey and presence of other lefties competing for the same bullpen job as he was, he could see the writing on the wall, this is what he had to say:
“For me, it’s spring training,” he said. “It’s early. it’s not even the season yet. We’re all getting into our groove. I felt personally that ‘Hey, I haven’t shown what I can do. I mean, in no way am I going to put that on a handful of innings as far as how far I’ve come.’ I know there are still two weeks left. I feel great. I’m getting better each time out there. I know that by opening day — and it’s in no way an excuse, but by opening day — I’ll be ready to go.”
Problem is, the M’s didn’t have that long to make a call.


Seattle, as we mentioned previously, has to add some non-roster players to the major league squad and Olson and his 5.40 earned run average this spring had become redundant. His roster spot was an easy call.
By doing it this way, rather than with a few days to go before the opener, they enabled him to get a crack at another major league job.
He’ll get that with the Pirates. They haven’t told him where they envision him just yet, but Olson said that, whether it’s starting or relieving, he’ll be grateful for the opportunity.
So, hopefully, for him, his best is yet to come and he can revive his career in the National League. I always enjoyed Olson the person, who had a number of interesting hobbies and embarked on a dream vacation to New Zealand this past winter to visit spots he’d seen in the movie Lord of the Rings.
Like I said, he’s an interesting guy. Wish him well.

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