General manager Jed Hoyer and the Cubs had been eyeing Rangers prospect Mike Olt since last year’s trade deadline.
On Monday, they finally got the Texas third baseman as part of a package, potentially five players, in exchange for right-hander Matt Garza. The trade capped Garza’s nearly three seasons with the Cubs, finishing with a 21-18 record and 3.45 ERA. The Cubs had discussed trading Garza to the Rangers last year before he was injured in what would be his final start of the season July 21 at St. Louis.
“We felt really good about the depth we acquired,” Hoyer said. “[Olt’s] had a bit of a down year, but sometimes that’s the time to acquire a player. We certainly hope he can bounce back to his form from last year.”
In addition to Olt, the Cubs received right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm, right-handed pitcher C.J. Edwards and at least one player to be named later. The PTBNL is contingent on who the Cubs choose – either one pitcher or two pitchers, both of whom have been predetermined, Hoyer said. Hoyer said there were contract extension talks with Garza and his agent, although it was complicated by Garza’s injuries to end last season and during spring training this year.
“He’s certainly a pitcher you want in your rotation and a player we’d like to have around,” Hoyer said.
It’s too early to worry about how Olt joining the organization will affect 2013 first-round pick third baseman Kris Bryant, who down the road could move to the outfield. Olt will report to Triple-A Iowa and will get the majority of playing time at third base ahead of former first-round draft pick Josh Vitters.
“We made no secret that we wanted to acquire arms, but at the same time when it comes to position players we want to try and acquire the best talent,” Hoyer said. “That stuff usually sorts itself out.
“We have some time to make that decision [with Bryant].”