Although not there yet, I will be in Orlando tomorrow to bring you all of the latest news at Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings.

As usual on the first day, there is much dialogue between clubs.  Most of it goes nowhere, but rumors will fly and some groundwork to future deals may be laid.

The Pirates look like they have made their first addition to the 2011 club by practically signing left-hander Scott Olsen to a one-year, incentive-laden deal.  The deal is contingent on Olsen passing a physical, which is expected to happen later this week.

Over parts of six seasons in the Majors, Olsen is 37-49 with a 4.85 ERA in 130 games. He has struck out 528 batters and walked 239 in 723 innings.  He has spent the last two seasons as a member of the Washington Nationals, though both seasons were marred by injury. Last season, the lefty went 4-8 with a 5.56 ERA.

Before that, Olsen was a member of the Florida Marlins where he had been much more durable.

It’s not a flashy signing, but it makes sense given the Pirates desperate need for starting pitching. The move won’t cost the club any money upfront, so if Olsen can’t recover from injuries, the Pirates won’t have an investment in him.

I know this isn’t the big move Pirates fans want.  While the Pirates are signing an injury prone left-hander, other struggling clubs like the Nationals are signing Jason Werth and the Orioles are acquiring Mark Reynolds.

Big names would be nice, but you have to look at where the Pirates currently are. The pieces are starting to accumulate, but they aren’t all there yet. I keep preaching patience and sticking to the plan.

Most people want a .500 season next year.  That’s very unlikely even if they somehow acquire a major name. There’s no way they make a near 50 game improvement. Instead, progress should be the goal. There’s no need to overpay for someone this year. Let them do that next offseason.

In other news, look for the Pirates to aggressively look to add another arm. That list likely includes Chris Young, Aaron Heilman, Justin Duchscherer, Kevin Correia and possibly Brandon Webb, although Webb and the Pirates haven’t talked in over a week.

My money would be on Correia or Duchscherer.

Other names closely linked to the Pirates at the moment include Jeremy Accardo, Matt Diaz, J.J. Hardy, Brenden Ryan, Jeff Francoeur and unfortunately Kenshin Kawakami.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I will update you on everything to do with the Winter Meetings and the Pittsburgh Pirates

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