Mike Olt will hope for better luck on the South Side, as the White Sox announced this afternoon that they have claimed the former top prospect off waivers from the Cubs. He’ll be added to the major league roster.
Olt was designated for assignment by the Cubs this week after the team acquired Austin Jackson from the Mariners. The 27-year-old appeared in seven games with the Cubs in April before going down with a hairline fracture in his right wrist. He has played exclusively in the minors since returning to full health, batting .265 with nine home runs and a .793 OPS over 59 games with Triple-A Iowa.
Olt owns .158/.245/.333 batting line over 314 plate appearances in the majors, so he’s running out of chances to make an impact, but he has landed in a pretty good situation. The White Sox could give him a look at third base down the stretch.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis tied and then surpassed Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz for the major league home run lead, blasting his 39th and 40th home runs in Friday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
The first blast was a solo shot in the second inning off of starter Drew Hutchison to open the scoring. Davis then went yard in the sixth off of Hutchison again with a man on base.
Davis has homered in each of his last three games, including two on Wednesday. Cruz hasn’t homered since August 26.
Mariners starter James Paxton left a rehab outing with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday due to a finger injury. He went on the disabled list in late May with a strained tendon in the middle finger of his left hand, and the initial fear was that he reaggravated that injury. Not so — just a torn fingernail, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Manager Lloyd McClendon, via Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, said that Paxton “will be down for at least three or four days” while the fingernail heals. Ultimately, though, it’s good news for the Mariners. Paxton still has enough time remaining in the season to make a handful of starts once his rehab is finished.
Paxton ranked as one of the organization’s top prospects over the last few years. In 10 starts this season, the 26-year-old posted a 3.70 ERA with a 45/22 K/BB ratio across 58 1/3 innings.
After finalizing their acquisition of outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners, the Cubs announced that they designated infielder Mike Olt for assignment.
Olt began the season on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, but he was merely viewed as a stopgap at third base until Kris Bryant was deemed ready for the majors. The 27-year-old went 2-for-15 (.133) with a home run over six games prior to going down with a hairline fracture in his right wrist. The injury cleared the way for Bryant’s major league debut. Olt ended up missing a couple of months, but he was batting .265 with nine home runs and a .793 OPS over 59 games with Triple-A Iowa.
Olt has never lived up to his top prospect status, putting up a .158/.245/.333 batting line over 314 plate appearances in the majors, but somebody could take a chance on him.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners will indeed receive a player to be named later and the Cubs’ final international bonus pool slot (which Greg Johns of MLB.com says is worth $210,000) in return. The Cubs will receive some cash along with Jackson.
6:11 p.m. ET: With the waiver trade deadline just a few hours away, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN reports that the Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners. Greg Johns of MLB.com confirms the report and adds that the Mariners will receive a player to be named later and potentially an international bonus slot in return.
Jackson, who will be a free agent after the season, reportedly cleared revocable waivers earlier this month. The 28-year-old is batting .272/.312/.387 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, and 15 stolen bases over 107 games this season and has been especially hot of late. The Cubs already have Dexter Fowler in center field, but the move gives Joe Maddon some additional flexibility. Remember, the team is missing Jorge Soler right now due to an oblique injury. Jackson was flipped from the Tigers to the Mariners last July as part of the three-team David Price deal, so the Cubs will be his third team in 13 months.
As for the Mariners, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that they plan to use Brad Miller as their primary center fielder down the stretch.