''Both of those guys played well and did a lot of things to make the team,'' general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday. ''We are really happy with the guys we kept, but it was a ready hard decision.''
Chris Coughlan will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to play outfield, and infielder Ryan Roberts has to decide whether he will report to Iowa or ask for his release,
Olt, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade on July 22, struggled with his vision last year and hit .197 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs at Triple-A Round Rock and Iowa. He was hit on the head with a pitch in the Dominican Winter League.
The 25-year-old entered Thursday hitting .275 in spring training with five homers and 12 RBIs.
''He had a great spring with the bat,'' Hoyer said. ''His at-bats were very good, patient and his swings aggressive and he did a lot of damage.''
Kalish missed much of 2012 with Boston while recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, then had right shoulder surgery in January 2013 and missed the entire season. He had cervical fusion surgery in August, then became a free agent in December when the Red Sox failed to offer a 2014 contract.
He agreed in December to a contract with the Cubs calling for a $550,000 salary in the major leagues, and his bid to make the roster was helped by his ability to play all outfield positions.
Chicago has yet to announce its fifth starter and its last bullpen spots.