Word is the Rangers are willing to deal Mike Olt to get R.A. Dickey if they lose out in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes.
Olt has a great reputation. He ranked No. 43 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list coming into the 2012 season, was No. 13 on John Sickels’ preliminary Top 50 ranking of position player prospects and sits No. 16 on Jonathan Mayo’s Top 100 prospects list.
Olt’s not quite Wil Myers, not by reputation or performance to date. The biggest difference is in their ages; Olt is more than two years older than Myers, so he can’t quite be expected to improve the way Myers can — though every prospect is his own unique snowflake and either could develop into an awesome or awful hitter. Also, though experts seem bullish on Olt’s ability to transition to the outfield, he hasn’t really done it yet. A third baseman by trade, Olt has played five professional games in right field.
If the Mets were to acquire Olt, he’d probably need to start the season in Triple-A to get reps in the outfield and at the plate before advancing to the Majors. Though Olt spent time with the Rangers late in 2012, he didn’t hit much in his big-league tenure, and he’s yet to play at Triple-A. Myers appears ready for prime time, at least based on his dominance of Pacific Coast League pitching in 2012.
Of course, since the Royals do not appear willing to trade Myers for Dickey, the comparison doesn’t matter. Neither Myers nor Olt fits the Mets’ needs quite the way Giancarlo Stanton would, but if it’s not happening it’s not really worth talking about.
The good news about Olt is that he does a bunch of the things the Mets need: He hits right-handed and with a lot of power. At Double-A Frisco in 2012, he hit 28 home runs in only 354 at-bats. It’s worth noting, though, that Frisco’s park is rather amenable to the longball.
Olt’s also a local kid, for what it’s worth. He grew up in Connecticut and played college ball at UConn. And, most importantly, we’d be able to reference Arrested Development and yell “MIKE OLT!” every time he did anything.
The Rangers have a couple other players that could interest the Mets in a trade, to boot. If they do miss out on Greinke but re-sign Josh Hamilton, they could have something of a logjam on their hands. Obviously there are a lot of moving parts and I have no idea what the Rangers’ plans hold, but it seems like they have a bunch of outfielders the Mets could use, plus, a bit further away, Double-A second baseman Leury Garcia blocked by the young duo of Andrus and Jurickson Profar in the middle infield (plus Ian Kinsler, who looks likely to be displaced).
So it seems like there’s a deal to work out in there somewhere, if the Mets opt to trade Dickey at all. The Mets would seem to be best served working out a package deal — perhaps including more than just Dickey — to net an outfielder ready for Opening Day in addition to Olt.