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
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.