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Could Mike Olt be a key piece in 2014?

Could Mike Olt be a key piece in 2014?

Of all the young players we talk about at length:  Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler...none of them will be with the Cubs on opening day in 2014.

One top 10 prospect who has a chance to break camp as the starter is Mike Olt, the 3B acquired from the Texas Rangers.

Obstructed View posted Bill James' projections for Cubs players in 2014 and while there isn't a ton of offense expected outside of Anthony Rizzo, there are a couple of nice surprises. (Disclaimer: Bill James projections tend to be a bit more optimistic than the norm)

One is that Javier Baez (were he to make the team, of course) projects to have better numbers than incumbent Starlin Castro.  In fact, he has the second highest wOBA (.332), as calculated by DMick.  James calculates Baez to hit .270/.324/.438 with 22 HRs.  The Cubs could certainly use that kind of production, but it's still around average to a bit below average overall, so despite the temptation, the Cubs should let Baez develop in AAA and improve on that production -- perhaps as early as mid-season.

The other player is Mike Olt.

Mike Olt is a surprisingly (potentially) productive player that emerges from that analysis.  James has him at just a .225 batting average, but a strong 12% walk rate puts him at a passable .318 OBP to go with a .429 slugging percentage with 24 HRs.  DMick calculates his wOBA at .327, below average but better than Luis Valbuena's .315 mark last year and not terrible considering he should provide much needed RH power and above average defense.

In fact, the .327 wOBA would have ranked 7th last year among NL 3Bs -- pretty much the middle of the pack -- and Olt will be a better defender than all but at least two of those 6 players ahead of him (Chase Headley, Martin Prado being the possible exceptions).

Somewhat related is that Darwin Barney is considered a non-tender candidate after an abysmal year offensively.  The  likelihood that he'll be due for an arbitration raise that will further curtail his value.  If the Cubs non-tender him, it may be just to save money and perhaps re-sign him at a reduced rate.

But the reason I say the Barney idea is related is that the Cubs could conceivably improve their offense internally by moving their productive 3B platoon of Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy to 2B, where their offense plays better.  Both are capable of defending the position, though obviously not as well as Barney, so that must be taken into consideration as well.

Even if you assume no other changes that alone should improve the offense and most specifically, the OBP and quality of ABs in the lineup.  Of course, as have noted on numerous occasions, we do expect the Cubs to make some changes.

Olt, however, may end up being the best -- and potential long-term-- addition the Cubs make to open the 2014 season.

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  • I can see Olt's bat playing at many positions throughout the year depending on who arrives and when...LF, RF, 3B, and maybe the occasional 1B

  • In reply to historyrat:

    I think his bat plays best at 3B and he's a good enough defender to add extra value there. Nothing against Bryant at 3B because he's been solid there, but if Olt can be the good defender many believe he'll be at 3B, I'd move Bryant to the OF.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I like this article and all of its conclusions! Let Baez develop. Even Castro came up too soon! Same with too many Cubs prospects in the past. Earn their way as a developed player. Reward performance, not hope! And Olt could be a big key next year. The question I have long term, and would like your opinion is this.

    You have bangers: Olt, Bryant, Soler, Rizzo, Baez (reasonable runner), Castillo -

    And then you have potentially: Almora, Castro. But with Baez at 2B, that leaves only two positions as table-setters, and a general lack of speed and LH hitting.

    If Olt performs, could he be trade bait? And if the Cubs were to draft Trea Turner, would Castro move to 2B, or might Alcantara or a similar LH (SH) bat play better there?

    Could Olt, Castro, and perhaps with improvement, Brett Jackson end up in a trade package(s)?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Been a Cubs fan since my first game in 1954 and like all of us am waiting for the heavens to shine upon this team and get us to the WS. But I can't understand the constant criticism and undervaluing of D. Barney. Sure, you want more production from the position, but look at how Sveum-i used him in the batting order. It seemed like he never batted in the same position two days running. Each slot requires different talents. I'd hate to see him shipped off without the chance of playing for a new manager in a new system. I see him as more teachable than some others on the roster. He seems to be a hard worker, head in the game guy. Those are plus attributes. Please stop throwing him under the bus.

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    Sign me up for those power projections. Did it say 30 homeruns from Rizzo?

    A real concern, not 1 player projected to hit over .280 or w an OBP of .350 Yea, batting avg isn't everything but we really need to have a couple of guys hitting close to .300 and a couple w OBP above .350

    Cubs are due for a break. Look for Olt to regain his form and become a real contributor next year a la what Josh Vitters was supposed to be.

  • It would be awesome if olt performed well enough to break with the team and to get off to a solid start. Would really get fans excited to see young talent doing well as we call up you gets in the future. Would also make a good problem for cubs to deal with.

  • If I remember correctly, James projected Rizzo to have 32 HR in 2013, which didn't quite turn out as nicely.

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    In reply to KSCubsFan:

    Well that means hes due to be right this year! Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    love it!

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    Yes! I think a Valbuena/Murphy platoon at 2B and a Gamel/Olt platoon at 3B could provide some nice production this year. I think they might be able to get an unproven but young arm from a high-offense team like the Dodgers/Tigers/Angels for Barney.

  • In reply to Joe Hayes:

    Olt platoon with Gamel wouldn't work as Olt wouldn't see enough LH pitchers but his glove would go from good to supreme when compared to Gamels glove. I'm thinking that Gamel could make a good trade chip when added to a pkg. as he doesn't really fit with what the Cubs are building.

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    In reply to Joe Hayes:

    You think the Angels would trade Peter Bourjous for Darwin Barney?

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think Barney has almost no trade value at all. There are even some who believe the Cubs will non-tender him, rather than go through the arbitration process with such an unproductive player.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    That's what I figured but then read that comment about a high offense team may be looking to solidfy there D up the middle

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    If those offensive predictions are optimistic for the Cubs -- it's going to be another long season.

    The reason I wonder about their long term view of Olt is because, after a lot of talk of trying Kris Bryant at other positions, Bryant has been playing exclusively 3B in the AFL. I kinda think the Cubs are expecting Bryant to play there, which doesn't speak particularly highly of their long-term view of Olt. That's odd, though, because they clearly wanted Olt badly and it's only been a half season. Perhaps the eyes aren't responding as they'd hoped?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You play your prospects at their most valuable position for as long as humanly possible, regardless of who else is in the system. You don't move them until they are just about ready to come up if they are blocked, a la Jurickson Profar.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    That would be my interpretation if Jed Hoyer hadn't said they wanted Baez and Bryant to play different positions in the AFL, but he did.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Looking at the Mesa roster, it looks like Darvill and Bryant are the only listed third basemen. Maybe Hoyer meant that Baez would be at mostly 2nd and 3rd while Olt would be in the outfield, but, when Baez asked not to go, they scrapped the plan. I really hope Bryant isn't there because of no faith in Olt. I was really excited when we got him from Texas.

  • In reply to HailSzczur:

    I just think that all moves made regarding Kris Bryant, will have to do with Kris Bryant's progression, and not Mike Olt's or anyone else's. Until he is absolutely ready to come up to the big club, then an adjustment will be made.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Please show me where he said that.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-27/sports/ct-spt-0828-bits-cubs-dodgers-chicago-20130828_1_jorge-soler-baez-dale-sveum

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah but just because Hoyer said he wouldn't mind if Bryant got some play in the outfield in the AFL certainly doesn't mean that since he hasn't that the Cubs changed their mind and they are dead set on Bryant being the 3rd basemen. I highly doubt that.

    I think the Cubs will keep Baez at SS until he makes his adjustment to AAA pitching and then give him some play at 3rd & 2nd as well before he comes up.

    Same with Bryant. I think he will likely stay mainly at 3rd, although I could see him getting some more time in the OF next year as he already has experience playing there from college. That could also be affected by whether the FO will promote Bryant to the Cubs directly from AA or give him 300 AB's in AAA first.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You're free to interpret it however you like.

    However, I'd like to point out that you're minimizing his actual words -- about the need for versatility and getting guys reps at different positions -- and adding in things that they've never said, i.e., "I think the Cubs will keep Baez at SS until he makes his adjustment to AAA pitching and then give him some play at 3rd & 2nd as well before he comes up."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think it might be a mistake to expect much offense from Olt. He was horrible in the minors last year and is similar to Brett Jackson and Vitters...it just isn't going to happen.

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    In reply to HankSauer rules:

    Hank, I think he's much better than either of those two and has a higher ceiling. His troubles last year stemmed from vision problems resulting from a beaning. He started seeing better toward the end of the year and his vision is expected to be back to normal by spring.

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    In reply to HankSauer rules:

    C'mon dude. If almost every analyst has Olt as a Top 75 prospect and Jackson and Vitters have trouble making the top 300 how can you say that?

  • We desperately need an everyday productive 3rd baseman. Whether it is Olt, Vitters, Bryant, Gamel or Murphy. Time for Valbueno to follow Sveum, his biggest fan and head for greener pastures. Get 3rd resolved, then get a bat at second base and another for the outfield! and of course more pitching. We need some prospects to come up next year to contribute, followed by some others as they blossom later on.

    Like to see Scott Baker back now that he is healthy, that would be one arm and have him join some of the other young arms recovering from health issues.

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    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Valbuena is a very valuable piece to any team, in my opinion. Look at his pitches/PA and OBP. He's a good player. I'm very much in favor of him and Murphy platooning over at 2B with Barney getting the boot.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    If Valbuena is at 3B again, we will have a losing record again....we need better players than a hitter in the low .200's back to back seasons. Good utility guy, not a starter in the major leagues.

  • If he shows in ST that he is over his vision problem then I hope
    he is given most of the BA's at 3rd. I hope will sign at least 1
    released player by the deadline, in mid Nov., for turning your
    list of 40-man roster protected.

  • John... We have talked several times about the Cubs non-tender candidates... But how about the non-tender candidates out there that could be good picks?

    Travis Snider, Seth Smith, Andrew Bailey, Mitchell Boggs, Scott Elbert, Daniel Hudson, Jose Mijares, Jeff Neimann, Esmil Rogers, Joe Thatcher and Jonny Venters (although the latter one has a very questionable arm, after 2 TJ surgeries)... Either way, I like those names as flyers or minor league deals.

  • This may be a bit premature, but let's say by the end of 2014 Castro/Baez are some combination of SS/2B, that Bryant moves to RF, and we still are getting mediocre production out of 3B. Next year's 3B FA class holds Hanley Ramirez, Chase Headley, and Pablo Sandoval.
    That would leave your lineup as
    C-Weli
    1B-Rizzo
    2B-Baez
    3B-Ramirez/Headley/Sandoval
    SS-Castro
    RF-Bryant
    CF-Sweeney
    LF-Schierholtz/Lake

    Seems very productive and only about one year from now, with only one big FA signing.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Always tough projecting who will actually make it to free agency. Headley seems the most likely because of the small market. Sandoval is a great athlete for his size, but worried about his ability to play 3B long term with that body.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed, that's why I stated it may be premature. But the main target here in my opinion is Headley, as he and SD have always been pretty far apart on extension talks. Put his Petco numbers in Wrigley and I think he would be worth a big spend, especially because he could be that LH bat that we need with all the RH power coming up. Also neither Baez or Bryant move in this scenario, because I believe Bryant will need to move to RF and that Baez should stick in the MI.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Pads also have a lot of young arms. I wouldn't be apposed to a blockbuster deal w them.

    Anyone else think Corey Luebke would look nice in a Cubbie blue?

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    What do you think it would take to get Chase Headley from the Pads?

    Hes coming off a .250/.347/.400 year w 13 hrs and 50 rbi in 141 games.

    He might be had on the cheap right now, and you know the Pads will be shopping him

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I would rather give up no prospects in the system and count on him hitting FA next year and trying to land him there, even though it would cost a pick as he is a near guarantee to get a QO.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Thats an ideal situation, but he's going to be traded next year and then we would have to hope that team that trades for him doesn't extend him.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Heard Pads GM on MLB Network radio this week. He was asked point blank about C.H. and the difficulty in extending him when he has had several average seasons and one outstanding season. He pointed out many of the intangibles he brings to the diamond and that they think very highly of him, but that you have to look at his entire body of work when putting together a salary offer they can live with. It sounded like they would like to hold onto him, especially if they can contend next season, but it didn't sound like they were in the same ballpark on a new contract.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    Thanks for the recent update! I never would have known. I just knew that's kind of where they stood after his breakout year, and haven't heard much since.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    We need yet another 3b?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If Baez stays in the middle infield, Bryant is forced to move to the OF, and Olt/Villanueva don't become impact players, which are all possible, then there are a few good possible impact bats that could be had over the next year.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We are stacked at 3B in the minor leagues. Someone will emerge from that group...it is time to quit trying to buy a team(Hendry) and stick to our new plan of developing a farm system and winning with home grown talent.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Agreed, Hendry won three Division titles in 6 years, got us 5 outs from WS, and the best teams in baseball in 07 and 08 regular seasons.

  • Olt wouldn't be the first talented player to get derailed and never make it to the majors, that said we need him to recover to the point where we can at least flip him. While I like Olt and would love to see him bounce back, concerns me how quickly Texas gave up on him. In this thin market for 3rd baseman that has to be a concern to the Cubs.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    Thin market? See above comment, as well as Bryant, Baez.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Was talking about overall market for 3rd baseman not just the Cubs.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    I gotcha. But next year there are three big names that may hit the market.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Understand your point.

  • In Olt's case I think the eyes have it. I'm hoping he is an answer at 3B as we can move Bryant to either SS or even 2B or a corner outfield spot when he comes up.The young on arrival could make this team one most want to avoid. Rizzo,Olt,Soler,Bryant along with Castillo ,Castro and the spark plug Almora.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    Bryant would never be moved to either SS or 2B. He's 6'5 and definitely does not have the range to play middle infield.

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    In reply to TheRiot2:

    If Bryant's ability to stick at 3rd was a question mark (though he seems to be answering it), then he will not be moved to the middle of the infield.

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    In reply to TheRiot2:

    Regardless, if Olt, Alcantara, Baez, Bryant, and Villanueva all hit, someone is getting dealt. Because we don't have enough slots for everyone.

    That is a very huge IF of course, but all these guys have higher floors than they did a year ago

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Very good post! Someone's getting traded. You can't afford to have real excess talent sitting on the bench while you have shortcomings in Pitching. And if you consider the FO comments, that is their thinking in drafting the best player, not the positional need. Later the no. 2's at that position get traded! And from above, I forgot to mention Villanueva because I consider him a potential fill-in at 1st and 3rd, but John would know better than me. I would like his opinion. He could end up with 3 or 4 top 20 Cubs prospects in trades.

  • My concern with Olt is that he had a concussion a year ago in Winter ball. I think about all the problems Morneau and Mauer have had returning from their concussions. I know Olt is not (was not?) showing concussion symptoms, but still. I would rather consider anything Olt contributes in the future as a pleasant surprise.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I am hoping those vision problems are over... He said he needed to rehab his eyes, which he didn't do during the season and I'm hoping that's all he needs.

    My father had an emergency surgery on his eye about 2 months ago and he was told he needed 90 days to regain vision and during those 90 days he had to endure some rehab and medication... I know it's not the same Olt had, but I'm hoping it is a similar case and after the rehab and the 90 days of resting his eyes he comes back strong.

  • There still no OBP in that line up. Really wish they'd get Ellsbury

  • Honestly, if Olt has a good, or very good, year at 3rd base, the Cubs have a real shot at a decent year (above .500). They'll add another starter certainly, they'll start the year with a much improved bullpen and they'll get more offensive production out of 2nd base. If Junior Lake is a productive piece, and Rizzo and Castro have good years, 2014 will be fun. It's closer than most think.

  • Also, Olt could serve as backup 1B and play against tough lefties.

  • By the end of July we should who to keep and who to trade
    for prospects

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    Here is a scenario I've been thinking of lately. Say this spring training Baez looks great. He comes out red hot hitting everything in sight. Olt looks better than he did last season but not close to Baez's performance. Does the FO go with Baez opening day? Or do they stick to their guns and send Baez to AAA? We know spring training starts can be a mirage. Still the pressure on Theo and Jed if Baez kills it in spring training will be high.

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    In reply to Sean Holland:

    Even if Baez hits .750 in the spring and plays flawless D, he'll start the year at AAA. Not only is it the smart thing to do with a guy that hasn't even played a full year at AA yet, but why start his service clock sooner than necessary? I'm sure the FO would rather have him for another controllable year when the team is projected to contend, rather than six or eight extra weeks in a sub .500 season. I have no doubt he'll be up sometime next year, most likely at second base.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    The service clock is an issue, but I don't think it's even the half year at AA that works against him. While unbelievably unlikely -- due in part to service clock considerations -- I could see Kris Bryant earning a spot on the team out of spring training because he is so mature and so polished. He could make the adjustment.

    Baez isn't as polished -- due in part to being drafted as a high schooler and in part to not really having anyone refine his talent until Theo got to town -- and has a lot more to learn. A half season against AAA pitchers will show him how major league pitchers approach at bats and put him in a much better position to succeed when he gets to Wrigley.

    And, man, a middle of the order of Baez and Bryant is just an amazing thing to contemplate.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I tend to agree with you guys. Even with a strong spring. The pressure will be huge but I just don't think the FO cares about public pressure. Bryant seems to be tearing apart every league he faces. I have no doubt he will kill it this spring. But as with Baez I still don't see Bryant out there opening day. Olt might not last in the lineup long. Cause at least one if not both Baez and Bryant will be in the majors by July. If Olt does great that is just an added bonus. Barney will also have a hard time keeping on the team.

  • I think the Cubs might trade Castro for a TOR pitcher and move Barney to SS were his offense will play better until Baez is ready. 2B and 3B will be filled by a combination Watkins/Murphy/Olt/Valbuena. until Alcantara and Bryant are ready. This lineup could actually be good for defense and OBP/HR' s. 2014 is shaping to be another development year anyway.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Barneys offense only plays at one position but unfortunately he doesn't have a hammer curve, a splitter, or a 95mph fastball

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    Baez will start in AAA regardless of spring performance. That might speed up when he joins the big league team, but remember the pitchers hes facing in the spring are working on stuff themselves so what we see stat wise may not be what the team sees.

  • An effective Mike Olt @ 3B would be a tremendous boost for the offense if the rest of the infield can perform to their career norms.

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    I'll throw my 2 cents in. I really like the idea of Alcantara being the solution at 2B. He's a switch hitter that could start the order off with a bang. Then we would see Almora as our #2 hitter for years to come.

    I know Kevin think that Bryant sticks at 3B. But I have no problem seeing him move to RF as well. As a matter of fact I think he wins several gold gloves out there!

    That leaves us with where Baez will end up. If Castro does indeed stick with the Cubs, then Baez gets the nod at 3B. Then we see Olt used as a trade piece. But he would need to show some real value. Thus I think he does in fact start next season at 3B.

    But here's a wrinkle. I get this feeling that Castro will be dealt for a big name pitcher, possibly Price. Then a ton of money is thrown at Price to get him signed to an extension. This scenario becomes more necessary if the Cubs cannot land Tanaka.

    We then see Baez just stick at SS and Olt stick at 3B. Then a possible FA signing might be in the future for a 3B if Olt can't handle it. Headley seems to be the guy if Olt doesn't get it done.

    Possible 2015 line up:

    ALCANTARA 2B
    ALMORA CF
    RIZZO 1B
    BRYANT RF
    BAEZ SS
    SOLER LF
    OLT/HEADLEY 3B
    CASTILLO C

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    It all goes in the "nice problem to have" category. As the young guys start forcing their way onto the team, we'll have players we can trade to fill in any holes. I'm also a big Alcantara fan and I'm hoping he finds a spot in the lineup. However, his value is highest as a second baseman. If Baez locks down that spot it's probably best to trade him for a very nice return.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think ALcantara gets every chance to lock down that 2B/top of the order spot because if not the Cubs will be scrambling for both left hand/top order pieces.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Nice problem to have, indeed. And these things usually have a way of working themselves out. Someone may be traded, get hurt or just flop.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I would be cautious naming a fringe top 100 prospect your leadoff hitter of years to come. I think he will be a good ballplayer, but hitting leadoff is a very big role that requires skills that are tough to keep at the major league level.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    My sentence reads:

    "Then we would see Almora as our #2 hitter for years to come."

    Alcantara may indeed also be on the Cubs for years but time will tell. My point with Alcantara is that he is currently a switch hitter and possibly the best option we have in the organization for a lead off hitter. Sczur may be another but there is no way he ends up being a starter in CF over Almora.

    But the thing I am surprised at is that no one seems to think the trading of Castro is out of the question. That is the bigger deal, imo, not whether or not Alcantara leads off for us....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I tend to agree that a big winter trade is coming. Theo not gonna sit on his hands three years in a row. He wants to be competitive this year, I'm convinced. He's smart and he'll figure out a way to stay the course while adding some nice pieces to this year's squad. More fans, more money and some Cubbie fun. Gonna happen.

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    In reply to JB55:

    I agree 100%. A big trade is near!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I like Headley at third in that scenario.

  • What if...Olt shines and Rizzo fails. What about Olt at 1st and Bryant at 3rd.

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    Where is the left side bats?

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    In reply to 44slug:

    You'd have to go Castro or Baez at short, AA or similar at 2nd, lefty catcher, lefty corner outfielder. Not ideal, but it would work.

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    Olt finally breaking through would be one of the best things that could possibly happen to the Cubs in 2014. It would give the Cubs one of those good kinds of problems to have. and the Cubs definitely could use some of those.

  • Yeah, we're going to need a couple of you guys to somehow play better than your projection. One time. Thanks.

    Really looking forward to getting daily looks at Olt. I can already see him as I guy I'm going to root especially for.

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    Count me as part of the Olt cynics. The K's are downright scary. But, I like the guy. Our FO obviously really likes him. Personally, I was hoping for more arms from Texas. But I absolutely see the upside.

    If Olt hits 2.40/25 HR/85 RBI. With very solid infield defense...Do we commit to Baez at 2B, and see if Alcantara can play CF?

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Ks resulting from an injury or an immature approach are less meaningful than ones with lots of mechanical flaws. I'm worried, but people I talk to don't seem to be terribly worried about Olt as long as his vision is okay...but the vision is concerning, no doubt.

    I think if he puts up those numbers with good walk numbers, then yes, I think thats a pretty valuable player and a legit starter.

  • If Olt can see again, and get back to the player he was in 2012 in the Texas League, you guys are going to go crazy for him. He just tore up the league at 23 years old. And he plays a beautiful third base. Very smooth.

  • I'm surprised at the skepticism on Olt. He's more deserving of a shot than any of the incumbents or in-house promotion candidates. We now know what Valbuena will put up if you give him full time exposure and it isn't impressive. Donnie Murphy isn't a full time player. Neither Crow Hop Vitters nor Gamel can handle the position defensively.

    I'd bet Castro is gone as soon as he recovers some value and Baez flips his service clock. They can bring Alcantara up to keep the keystone duo together come June or July. Think about the atrocious Mendoza contact rates they got from the whole infield last year w/ below replacement level black holes up the middle. They cannot do worse, so bring on youth, hope and upside.

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    This guy is NO Ian Stewart! :-)

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