MARCH 15: Chicago has given Olt his release, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
MARCH 7: Olt has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets. He’ll remain in major league camp with Chicago.
MARCH 6: The White Sox have designated third baseman Mike Olt for assignment, the team has announced (via MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, on Twitter). His roster spot was needed for the signing of Austin Jackson, which has been made official.
Olt, 27, was once a top prospect in the Rangers organization, but he’s dealt with vision issues and has not yet been able to translate his robust minor league offensive production to the major league level. Over 400 career MLB plate appearances, Olt has slashed just .168/.250/.330 with a 37% strikeout rate, though he has hit 16 home runs in that span.
Chicago gave the right-handed-hitting Olt a look down the stretch last year, but went on to acquire Todd Frazier to fulfill the team’s needs at the hot corner. Jose Abreu, of course, remains entrenched at first.
The right-handed-hitting Olt obviously was not seen as an essential part of the team’s prospective reserve corps, though he could still be retained if he clears waivers. With Jackson joining the roster, the club has a variety of options to fulfill bench bat/DH duties. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera ought to receive regular turns at bat, regardless of whether he’s in the field, while Avisail Garcia and recent claimee Jerry Sands also could be deployed against opposing southpaws.