The Yankees and Rangers are finalizing a trade that will second second baseman Rougned Odor to New York, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (via Twitter). The Rangers designated Odor, who has two years and $27M remaining on his contract, for assignment prior to Opening Day. Given that substantial commitment and the Yankees’ general aversion to paying the luxury tax, the Rangers are surely offsetting the majority of Odor’s contract in some capacity. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the two sides have agreed to a deal.
The Yankees are sending a pair of prospects to the Rangers in the deal, tweets Sherman.
It’s a bit surprising to see the Yankees taking on Odor, although it’s hard to imagine a park better suited for the 27-year-old lefty hitter’s pull-happy approach than Yankee Stadium. Odor’s strikeout rates have climbed continually since he signed an ill-fated six-year, $49.5M extension with the Rangers, and generally been a poor all-around performer due to significant on-base deficiencies.
However, Odor’s power has never really been in question. He has three 30-homer seasons in the past five years and swatted 10 long balls in just 148 plate appearances last year. The trade-off for that pop has been a strikeout rate that has soared north of 31% in the past two seasons and an overall .215/.279/.418 batting line through 1915 plate appearances dating back to 2017.
Odor figures to join a Yankees bench that currently features catcher Kyle Higashioka, outfielder Mike Tauchman, outfielder Brett Gardner and infielder Tyler Wade. The only one of the bunch who has a minor-league option remaining is Wade, and given that he’s also the only infielder of that group, it seems likely that he’ll be bumped to accommodate Odor’s acquisition. That would make Gio Urshela the primary backup to Gleyber Torres at shortstop, with Odor likely handling third base should Urshela be pressed into action at short for any reason.