The Yankees, strictly by the numbers, have every reason to designate Rougned Odor for assignment. But drilling deeper tells a different story.
When the Yankees announced a trade on April 6 with the news that Rougned Odor had been traded by the Texas Rangers with cash to the New York Yankees for Antonio Cabello (minors) and Josh Stowers (minors), there was barely a ripple in the water.
Odor, who had spent seven heavily bearded years with the Rangers, quickly did the “right Yankees thing,” again appearing in the clubhouse with barely a ripple but filled with determination to begin a second career with a new team and city.
At the time of the trade, though, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was less than effusive with his new player, offering, “Hopefully we can help him get that talent out that we’ve seen flash over the years,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
As a bonus, though, it did not escape the Yankees that with Texas picking up nearly all of the salaries owed to Odor, he will cost nothing to the Yankees for purposes of the luxury tax.
For the Yankees, they mainly viewed Odor as someone who can back up at both second and third base and has the potential to provide left-handed power and balance in a righty-heavy lineup.
Odor has come through with eight home runs in only 44 games with the Yankees, but until today his batting average has sagged beneath the Mendoza Line (.200).
With three hits today, including a two-out run-scoring double, Odor is now batting .212, nothing to write home about, but he’s on the way up for a Yankees’ offense that sorely needs the help.
Rougned Odor: The Yankees Man In The Clutch
But here’s the kicker. Odor has produced 14 hits with men on base – and eleven of those hits have driven a man home. That spells clutch hitter, a role previously given to Brett Gardner.
Moreover, with the game described a “Late and Close” by Baseball-Reference , Odor has seven hits and five RBI in 26 tries.
Still, with an almost certain roster crunch coming as Yankees GM explores the trading scene as we move closer to the July deadline, Odor’s position with the team could get very tenuous.
This becomes especially true if the Yankees, as they are rumored to be, succeed in landing Adam Frazier, the second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Frazier is a candidate for the NL All-Star team and is batting .324 while leading his league in hits (94) and doubles (26).
Oh, did I forget to mention Frazier bats left-handed?
Competition for Frazier will be severe, and Pittsburgh will be looking only for prospects, which almost always means pitching prospects.
The Yankees have plenty to offer in that department, with Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, among others, and Brian Cashman has been no stranger to trading away prospects in return for a proven major league player.
Rougned Odor: Attractive As A Trade Candidate
Balancing a trade like that for Frazier, though almost has to be teamed with another trade that lands the Yankees a front-line starter to follow Gerrit Cole in the rotation, a feat that Cashman has also been prolific at achieving.
Ironically, Rougned Odor and Estevan Florial, who is still stumbling in the minors with all the potential in the world, can be considered part of the package that will land that starter.
Having said that, however, Odor is sure looking like a keeper of late, and the Yankees, I’m sure, will think twice before letting him go.
Yankees Notes On Today’s Win
- The Bombers blasted off with three home runs, with Aaron Judge hitting number 16, Luke Voit, who when he isn’t hitting a home run since his return is booming one off the wall (3) – and wouldn’t you know it – Gary Sanchez (13), who blasted a laser to seal the game for the Yankees.
- Jameson Taillon needed something more than Aaron Boone telling us about his “nasty stuff” – he needed a win (1-4 5.59) – and he got it in spades. 6.1 innings with five hits and only one earned run surrendered, hopefully, can be the confidence boosted Taillon, and the Yankees need moving forward.
- The Yankees got what they’ve been looking for all season, with the box score showing 13 hits from the 1-6 positions in the batting order.
- The Yankees win today also marks another series win, the key to keep “movin’ on up.”
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Keith Riggs Odor..love it when he gets stinky!!.. Keep it up “Stinky!”
Chuck Hunt This guy is the king of the big hits for this team
Giovonni Bonella Get rid of Clint Frazier or Tyler Wade before Rouggie ..Tyler Wade watched 2 strikes go by him middle middle with bases loaded today it was disgraceful …
Raymond Paulucci he’s providing power and clutch hitting would keep him for the time being for sure.
Dennis MagaroThey can’t get rid of Wade he’s got speed oh wait a minute you have to hit or walk to get on base this clown has got to go and he should take Red Thunder with him
Mark Piechowiak Love his at-bats in the 6th inning or later (when we’re behind)
Michael Azadian Steve Contursi Frazier I believe is second in All Star voting at 2b. He’s been consistent all year. He’s built himself a nice career and will get a nice raise after this year. Steve Contursi I’m a fan of Frazier’s, I want to see him go to a team I root for. I do not root for the Yankees.
Randy Overstreet Odor is starting to hit more now and has some very big home runs this year. I would never get rid of Wade! The only player on the team with any speed at all and can play 5 positions to give days off !! NYY
Michael Delgado Another thing the Yankees like about him is he doesn’t cost them anything and generates income for them
Salvatore F. Salamone Odor brings a level of energy that the team is lacking in many other players. The two most high-energy guys, in my opinion, are Odor and Voit. Guess who was hugging last night after the Voit game-winning hit. I would keep him as he is a positive teammate and likely positive clubhouse influence with a desire to compete and win.
Author’s Final Thoughts
Closing today’s published comments on this article. It’s clear there are many fans of Odor in the Yankees’ camp. Today’s performance (at least) awards him a second look by the Yankees before making a move that sends him on his way.