12:38pm: As expected, it’s a minor league contract, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal (Twitter link).
9:21am: The Red Sox have signed corner infielder Mike Olt, who announced the news on Instagram (h/t Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe). It’s presumably a minor league deal for Olt, who didn’t crack the majors in 2016 after inking a minors pact with the Padres last March.
The 28-year-old Olt went to the Rangers in the first round of the 2010 draft and eventually topped out as Baseball America’s 22nd-best prospect after the 2012 campaign. The Rangers then sent Olt to the Cubs the next season in a trade centering on right-hander Matt Garza, but he failed to live up to his considerable promise in Chicago. In 2014, the only season in which Olt has seen extensive major league action, he batted .160/.248/.356 and struck out in 38.8 percent of his 258 plate appearances. All told, Olt has slashed .168/.250/.330 in a combined 400 PAs with the Rangers, Cubs and White Sox. He has been more successful, albeit not great, at the Triple-A level, having posted a .234/.318/.429 line in 774 PAs.
Primarily a third baseman, the Connecticut-born Olt, an ex-UConn star, will now return to his native New England and attempt to stick with the Red Sox organization. Boston does have questions at the hot corner, where Pablo Sandoval is aiming to bounce back from a horrid 2015 and a lost 2016. Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge are on hand as major league depth, while another of BA’s former top 100 prospects, Matt Dominguez, is in the minors.