Mar 9, 2013; Peoria, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Mike Olt (9) chases a grounder by San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko (not pictured) before throwing him out at first during the second inning at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Olt: Third Baseman or Trade Bait?

When twenty-five year old Mike Olt was traded to the Chicago Cubs from the Texas Rangers on the 22nd of July of this year, he unknowingly entered into a competitions.  This competition has been progressing since the departure of Aramis Ramirez to the Brewers; who will be the starting third baseman for the Cubs?

Olt’s gone on record saying he wants the job, and has put in a lot of hard work to prove it.  After taking a ball to the head in the 2012 Dominican Winter League, he developed vision problems and has seen specialists to correct problems with his depth perception.  So his vision problems cleared, and with no excellent prospects at third base (as he was behind Adrian Beltre at Texas and everybody on earth knows he wouldn’t have supplanted the three-time all star), Olt has a great shot to be on the third bag on opening day.

Should he? Probably, he has corrected his problems and has, in the past posted an acceptable BA (.288 in 2012 AAA), which is something the Cubs desperately need.  In my mind the real reason he should is that he will be excellent trade bait.  Give him a good first half of the season, starting at third, maybe even the whole season.  Is he an all-star? Who knows, but if he is, Theo’s eyes will light up with the prospect of more prospects.

The main reason he should be treated as trade bait is because of Kris Bryant.  Bryant, his .368 with 3 HR in the advanced A Daytona Cubs organization.  Second overall pick.  He’s like Olt, but he’s younger and he’s better and could be ready in as little as a year considering how he’s being ushered through the minors.

So let Mike Olt play a year at 3B, see what happens with Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, and then trade up for Kris Bryant.  The future is very bright indeed, Cubs fans!

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  • wmgh

    the 3B job is olt’s to lose. if he wins the job and puts up good numbers both offensively and defensively, he stays regardless of bryant. one will just go to the outfield. the idea is to trade short term pieces for long term pieces and olt is under team control until 2019. this isn’t a perpetual rebuild situation like in seattle.

    • Chris Schackmann

      If you want to look at it that way I don’t think it’s inaccurate but the same probably could be said about Bryant too.

      • wmgh

        look at it what way? bryant won’t be starting the season with the cubs regardless of how well he does in spring training. the hope is that both guys become long term fixtures for the cubs. when/if they do succeed, the plan is not to trade them. i can promise you that.

  • AG Ginn 515

    Mike Olt is 25, he’s gotta step up nobody is in his way like there was in Texas with Adrian Beltre, who do the Cubs got right now Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena. He’s had over 1400 PA in the minors, was one of the games top prospects last year till he got hit in the head in the Dominican winter league and it damaged his season this year because he could only see out of one eye and is still the third best 3B prospect in the minors and is working in Arizona with the Cub coaches to get him back to where he is comfortable, also played 3 years of college ball at UCONN, He could take this job and run with it, its his to lose really. To me Olt is the decision factor because if he pans out this coming year that I’m hoping he does, a lot can change for players like Javier Baez 2B, 3B CF, Kris Bryant 3B, LF, Arismendy Arismendy 2B, 3B, Jorge Soler RF, CF, Albert Almora CF, RF, Junior Lake LF, CF,