The big news on Twitter yesterday was the conversation that took place between Alfonso Soriano and Theo / Jed. At the end of the conversation, they came away with an agreement with Soriano to waive his no trade rights in exchange for a deal to a certain list of teams. He has said he’d like to win a ring before he retires. The rumors have been around a deal to the Yankees so you have to imagine that they are on the list. Who else is on it or how long it is is anyone’s guess. What’s important at this point is the Yankees. Rumors are that the the holdup to the  deal being discussed, while still “far” away, primarily revolves around the money owed to Soriano and who picks up how much. Since it’s the Yankees, you have to imagine Theo and Jed are asking them to absorb more than they would normally ask a team like Texas. They know the Yankees can afford it and they know they are in desperite times at this point with key guys making a lot of money all on the DL for most of the season. I still maintain that there is no rush on the Soriano move other than the fact that the Yankees, if they are truly interested, may either fall out of the race or decide to punt on Soriano and go after someone like Alex Rios. Soriano is a name you can move in August because his contract will clear waivers. There is no rush. Still, I can see a move for Sori completed before the end of the weekend. We’ll just have to be patient and stay glued to Twitter.

  • David DeJesus returned to the lineup after being on the DL and had a 2-for-6 night. It’s good to have him back. I like him as the leadoff hitter for this team. He’s just a decent baseball player. He’s not a star, but he’s a guy I like on my team.
  • Another multi-hit game for Junior Lake with a double and a single and and RBI. He played LF, giving Soriano a mental day off with all the trade rumors swirling.
  • The fact that Nate Schierholtz is hitting and hitting well is such a plus right now. We’ve got a series coming with San Francisco so you know he’s gonna be jacked about playing against his old team. I’m really hopping he has nights like he did in this game to show teams he can help down the stretch.
  • I’ve decided that I’m against giving Jeff Samardzija # 1 or even # 2 starter money when it comes to contract time. I like him, but I just don’t believe in him enough to trust he’ll be consistent and worth the money.
  • Don’t look now, but we’re about to pass San Francisco in the Wild Card standings and gaining ground on Washington. If I would have said we were going to type that at this point before the season would have started, you would have guessed the Cubs were in contention. Instead it’s been the Giants and Nats that have been disappointing this year.
  • Pedro Strop for president!!!!

by Rob Willer

Mike Olt  makes his Iowa Cubs debut.

Mike Olt (3B, Age 24)

Assigned to Triple A Iowa. July 23rd.

Triple A Stats: 268 AB’s, .213 .317 .422, 12 HR 33 RBI’s (Triple A Round Rock)

Background Info: Olt was a highly regarded prospect with the Texas Rangers last year being ranked the number 22 prospect overall across baseball. He got off to a tough start this spring as he was dealing with vision issues and struggled at Triple A Round Rock in April and May. Recently he got the problem corrected and his numbers have steadily improved with his average up to. 213 and his power has returned with 11 home runs. Most likely Olt will get the majority of time at 3rd base raising questions on what to do with former top draft pick Josh Vitters. Currently Olt is ranked at 43 by MLB.com and was regarded as the center piece of the Matt Garza deal.

Summary of the Game: Back to the game, Olt played third base as expected an batted sixth in the Iowa Cubs lineup. He struck out in his first at bat on a high fastball out of the zone. On the night Olt went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts and a single. During the 6th inning, Olt singled to left and was robbed of an RBI as Donnie Murphy got thrown out at home. He showed great skills in the field with adjusting on a high hop chopper to get the out at first. Brooks Raley started for the Iowa Cubs and pitched brilliantly going seven strong innings giving up three hits and one run while striking out six. Raley was recently up with the Cubs mostly pitching in long-relief. Interesting note to end with is that Vitters started in left-field for the Iowa Cubs going one for three with a single and a walk. Since Vitters is now blocked at third base the Cubs are trying to give him opportunities to play other positions to get enough at bats.

Story-lines to Watch Going Forward: Olt’s progress at Iowa and how long it will be until he is up with the Cubs and playing third base regularly with them at the big league level. Justin Grimm who also was part of the Garza trade will be on the mound Friday for the Iowa Cubs. Grimm has bounced around this season as he made 17 starts with the Rangers to go along with a 6.37 earned run average. This in turn gives Grimm time to work out a few kinks at the Triple A level before trying to earn a spot in the Cubs rotation later on in August and years going forward. Either way it should be a fun week seeing some of our new acquisitions contribute at the minor league level.

Be on the lookout later on this week as I break down the Cubs system position by position evaluating the talent. Make sure to follow me @Rob_Willer for the latest Cubs Minor League News.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail