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Scooping the Texas Rangers: Not trading Mike Olt may have backfired

Scooping the Rangers: Not trading Mike Olt may have backfired

by Todd Kaufmann | Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
| 1432 baseball fanatics read this article

Scooping the Texas Rangers banner -- Mike Maddux

Mike Olt gets ready to throw.

Texas Rangers prospect Mike Olt is off to a slow start. Fans are wondering if he should have been traded while the gettin’ was good. (Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News)

The Texas Rangers waited too long to trade Mike Olt. They should have done it when they had the chance before the 2012 trade deadline. Instead, the front office decided to wait, and they seem to be paying the price for that decision.

Mike Olt, now with triple-A Round Rock, is not exactly having the kind of start he or the Rangers were hoping for. Whatever value he might have had eight months ago is all but gone.

If anyone thinks Texas can include him in a trade package and get the kind of return they could have gotten, you might want to think again. In fact, you might want to aim a little lower than most were aiming when Mike Olt’s name first came up in trade rumors last season.

Everyone wants to talk about Texas doing their homework and digging around for a package that could entice the Miami Marlins to part with young outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

I was listening to the radio this morning and heard a particular morning show suggest trading Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, and Martin Perez to Miami in return for Stanton.

Unless Perez comes back from his spring training injury and proves he is what GM Jon Daniels and others believed he could have been, and unless Olt improves upon his 4-for-37 (.111) start to the season, that package will only make Miami laugh the Rangers right out of the war room.

You always trade players when their value is at its peak. Most, myself included, said the same line about Elvis Andrus at the end of last season before the Rangers decided they wanted to keep the young shortstop around for the foreseeable future.

When the July trade deadline came around, I thought for sure Texas would have no choice but to trade Mike Olt. There was no room for him on the big league roster and, according to reports, there were plenty of teams calling about his availability. Not trading him could only mean the young infielder was going to be the next best thing. If he wasn’t, why hang on to him at all?

Do the Rangers still believe that? Are they naïve to think so?

If Mike Olt’s value continues to plummet, it just means Texas will have to use other prospects in a deal for Stanton. Prospects this front office really hoped not to have to use in any sort of a deal. But the decision not to trade him when they got the chance seems to have backfired.

That’s not to say other teams don’t hold a certain level of interest in him, I just have to wonder if Miami sees the same thing the rest of us are seeing to this point. While Stanton certainly isn’t off to the best start to the 2013 season, teams know exactly what this young man is capable of, and they also know he would love to get himself away from the franchise that hasn’t exactly been honest with its players.

Front offices make decisions like this every year. They take a calculated risk on trading, or not trading, certain players. They don’t want to trade Mike Olt somewhere and watch him become exactly what they thought he would become. They don’t want to watch him become a star in someone else’s uniform and end up looking back at a “what might have been” scenario.

The way things are going just a month into the season, the Rangers’ front office might be looking back and saying to themselves, “maybe we should have traded him when we had the chance.”

With just over two months to go until the trade deadline, it’s only a matter of time until we find out just what kind of mistake not trading Mike Olt was. Or maybe we find out Texas knew what they were doing all along.

Post By Todd Kaufmann (162 Posts)

Todd Kaufmann is a freelance writer who, since moving to Texas in 2008, has covered everything from minor league baseball, the PGA Tour, college football, to the Texas Rangers themselves. He and his wife currently reside near Mansfield, Texas with their yellow lab ironically named...Ranger. You can follow him on Twitter @T_Kaufmann as well as on Facebook

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