Finding themselves on the losing end of Zach Greinke’s free agent decision and unsure of which potentially available pitcher to target, the Texas Rangers appear to have expressed a willingness to the New York Mets to include third base prospect Mike Olt in a potential trade for R.A. Dickey. Despite this, a deal between the two sides appears unlikely as the Rangers would need to include additional players in order to entice the Mets, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
Texas’ comfort in moving Olt does not necessarily come as a surprise. His name has come up in a number of conversations already this winter, though most of those discussions have reportedly centered on the team’s efforts to acquire Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks or to pickup the pieces needed to facilitate an Upton deal. Should the Rangers hold onto him he was likely penciled in as part of a platoon at first base along with Mitch Moreland, however, with the team’s completion of the trade sending Michael Young to Philadelphia it would now appear that there is more playing time potentially available for Olt (likely at DH). He’s naturally a third baseman (and has seen some limited time in the outfield corners), but with Adrian Beltre entrenched at the position there is a need to be creative in order to keep Olt’s bat in the lineup.
A prospect of Olt’s caliber would appeal to a team like the Mets for obvious reasons, one of which being the fact that he’d be under team control for six more seasons. However, at first glance many would point to the fact that third base is not available in New York either, with the recent extension handed to David Wright. The team also has Ike Davis, whom they’ve repeatedly said they won’t look to move, in place at first base. Olt would need to move to the outfield in order for his inclusion in a deal to seem worth it for the Mets, perhaps explaining why the team has so far insisted on additional players being included in such a deal. It likely wouldn’t be out of the question for New York to agree to take on Olt in a deal, only to flip him to another team thereafter.
Texas appears determined to make an impact trade this winter. New York appears determined to move Dickey, the NL’s reigning Cy Young Award winner who they can’t seem to agree with on a contract extension. While an Olt+ package would certainly appeal to the Mets, it seems unlikely that Texas would be willing to part with a collection of prospects in order to acquire the 38 year old knuckleballer who would only be under contract for one more season. Olt may be moved by the Rangers this winter, but being the centerpiece of a deal for Dickey doesn’t appear too likely.