Cubs: Initial diagnosis says Mike Olt didn’t break wrist


Cubs: Initial diagnosis says Mike Olt didn’t break wrist

DENVER – Mike Olt sort of laughed when one of the reporters surrounding his locker mentioned the social-media reactions about Kris Bryant.

“Yeah, I don’t really check Twitter anymore,” said Olt, who had his right wrist wrapped up late Saturday night in Coors Field’s visiting clubhouse.

Bryant won’t be walking through that door Sunday morning after Olt survived a scary moment in the ninth inning of a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. Adam Ottavino’s 96-mph fastball drilled Olt, but the initial X-rays revealed he didn’t break his right wrist.

“I wasn’t in a good state,” Olt said. “I couldn’t feel anything. I think it was just from the shock of getting hit. But once I was walking away, I was moving it around, so I wasn’t as nervous.”

Olt is trying to make a lasting impression while Bryant serves his time at Triple-A Iowa. The third baseman of the moment absolutely crushed a Kyle Kendrick pitch in the third inning, launching it into the back of the bullpen in right-center field for his first home run this season.

Olt had once been a big-time prospect with the Texas Rangers, but getting hit by a pitch while playing winter ball led to vision/concussion issues that almost derailed his career.

“It happens,” Olt said. “It was 0-2. The last thing (Ottavino) wants to do is hit me. I’m in a much better state of mind (since that) freak accident. I learned a lot from it. So it’s not going to affect me at all. I got lucky nothing worse happened.”

Manager Joe Maddon made it sound like the Cubs wouldn’t necessarily have to make a roster move.

“We’re going to approach it as though he’s going to be sore tomorrow,” Maddon said. “I don’t know if he can play tomorrow, but it does not appear to be, initially, a break.”

Olt seemed upbeat and said “I’ll be ready to go” for Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies (4-1). “We’ll just play it by ear, though, see how (I feel) when I wake up in the morning.”

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Whether the Cubs trade a member of their position player core this winter — i.e. Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras — is to be determined. Both have been fixtures in rumors this offseason, and the Cubs may make a deal to replenish their barren farm system and retool their roster with the organization’s long-term stability in mind.

Yu Darvish, on the other hand, is a different story.

No, the Cubs won’t be trading Darvish this winter, despite the inquiries they received at the Winter Meetings this week, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

A year ago, this would be an entirely different conversation. Darvish was coming off a disappointing debut season on the North Side in which he made eight starts and posted a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings. He didn’t throw a single big-league pitch after May 20 due to a lingering arm issue that led to surgery last November.

2019 was only Year 2 of the lucrative six-year contract Darvish signed in February 2018. But between the injury and his struggles before it that season, the narrative entering 2019 was shifting towards Darvish being a potential bust.

The narrative around Darvish is obviously much different now, thanks to the stellar second half performance he put together last season. In 13 starts, the 33-year-old delivered a 2.76 ERA, striking out 118 batters compared to a mere seven walks in 81 2/3 innings.

Not only was Darvish walking the walk, but he was talking the talk. He was determined to turn things around after posting a 5.01 ERA in the first half, asking then manager Joe Maddon to start the Cubs’ first game after the All-Star break. The result? Six innings of two-hit, no-run ball with eight strikeouts and one walk. Darvish's comeback was officially on.

Bust? Darvish is far from it now. He opted in to the remaining four years of his contract earlier this offseason, calling the Cubs "perfect" for him.

If the Cubs were entering a rebuild, fielding Darvish trade offers would make plenty of sense. He's owed $81 million through 2023, a bargain compared to the deals Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million — Yankees) and Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million — Nationals) earned this offseason. Darvish's contract is desirable, and trading him would help alleviate the Cubs' notoriously tight payroll situation, freeing up money for them to put towards other needs.

But the Cubs aren’t rebuilding, and trading Darvish would create a tremendous hole in a rotation with plenty of uncertainty after next season. José Quintana is set to hit free agency after 2020 and Jon Lester could join him, if his 2021 option doesn’t vest (he must pitch 200 innings next season for that to occur). Heck, even Tyler Chatwood's deal is up after 2020.

In one season, Darvish has elevated himself to the No. 1 pitcher in the Cubs rotation. The Cubs won't be better next season if they trade Bryant or Contreras, but they'd still be competitive and acquire assets for the future.

One player doesn't make a team in baseball, but the Cubs need Darvish in their rotation, not someone else's. Unless they're absolutely blown away by a trade offer, Darvish isn't going anywhere.

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB 2019 Winter Meetings come to an end

NBC Sports Chicago

Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB 2019 Winter Meetings come to an end

SportsTalk Live is on location in San Diego for the final day of the MLB Winter Meetings.

0:00- Chuck Garfien, Tony Andracki and Vinnie Duber join Kap to recap the Winter Meetings. Tony was right-- the Cubs didn't make a move. Plus, should the White Sox have done more in San Diego?

12:00- Legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons joins Kap and Chuck. The talk about the price for pitching and what the Cubs might do with Kris Bryant. Plus, Gammons talks about a text he received saying the White Sox were talking with the Red Sox about Andrew Benintendi and David Price. Would that make sense for the Southsiders?

20:00- White Sox World Series winning closer Bobby Jenks joins Kap to discuss his emotional article in The Players Tribune. They discuss his injuries with the Red Sox, the back surgery that almost cost him his life and then his downward spiral into addiction.

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast