Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Lobby talk: Mike Olt garners interest
By Richard Durrett
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday night that he's received plenty of calls about Mike Olt.
"He's got tremendous makeup, tremendous power, great makeup, good athlete, affordable," Daniels said. "On the surface, he's blocked with Adrian (Beltre). But we've asked him to put on some different gloves and he's handled it relatively well at first base, right field. We've asked him to go to winter ball and he goes to winter ball."
Are Jon Daniels and company on the verge of making an offseason splash? Baseball Ben gives the latest news on the Rangers hot stove.
Daniels said the club doesn't view Olt as blocked with the organization, though he's "temporarily blocked" at third base by Beltre. With several teams looking for third baseman, it makes sense that Olt, someone with huge upside, would be asked about. But the Rangers have shown a reluctance to deal many of their top prospects, though they look at everything.
Other things heard in the lobby (late last night and this morning):
* The Rangers remain interested in R.A. Dickey, but apparently a bunch of teams are as well. If the New York Mets insist on young outfielders or catchers, the Rangers don't match up well. But there are indications they'd take the best package they could get, so that could put Texas in the mix. All of that depends on if the Mets feel like they can't get that two-year extension done for the NL Cy Young Award winner.
* Zack Greinke's name is getting more mention in that lobby than Josh Hamilton's the past day. The Rangers are expected to meet with agent Casey Close this week (one MLB official said the meeting was supposed to take place Monday), but it's unclear if they'd also meet with Greinke himself. The Rangers know what Greinke could mean to their rotation, if he's paired with Yu Darvish at the top and that shoves Matt Harrison to the No. 3 spot. If the bidding reaches seven years for Greinke, I don't think the Rangers will go there. The team everyone seems to be wondering about are the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you listen to many folks in the lobby, the Dodgers are just dying to throw money around. But if the Dodgers don't blow Greinke out of the water, the Rangers could have a chance. Greinke wants to play for a contender and he's pitched well in Texas and against the AL West.
* Daniels said yesterday that there was nothing new on Hamilton and that he had not met or talked with agent Mike Moye this week. Of course, that's all subject to change with 2 1/2 days of meetings left here in Nashville. Hamilton hasn't been seen at the Gaylord and it's likely any business with him is taking place off the property.
* Daniels said the club is not actively shopping Michael Young (though that doesn't mean clubs aren't asking about him). "I'm not out there asking about him," Daniels said. "It didn't work out so well last time, two years ago. That's not something we're pursuing."
* Justin Upton's name keeps coming up, but the lobby buzz is that the Diamondbacks aren't backing off their demands for a shortstop.