Here is a surprising one: according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Yankees are finalizing a trade with the Texas Rangers to acquire Rougned Odor. I can’t say I saw this one coming (Randy, on the other hand, can say that). Odor, a 27-year-old second baseman, owns a .237/.289/.439 (86 wRC+) career line in just over 3,400 plate appearances. He is most famous for laying a very satisfying punch on Toronto’s Jose Bautista several years ago, though he was pretty good in 2015 and 2016. He”s been on a downward trend since.
Odor definitely has some lefty pop, hitting 30+ home runs three times in his career, in 2016 (33), 2017 (30), and 2019 (30), and he typically logs pretty solid exit velocities on average. He is also viewed as a plus defender in the infield by Baseball Savant, which may be worth something.
Hilariously, Odor also owns this distinction:
As the tweet above indicates, Odor did not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, so it was to be expected that a trade was coming. How he fits onto the Yankees is a different question. He could either be a Tyler Wade replacement or a Jay Bruce replacement. The latter feels more likely to me, though who knows. I will say that a young infielder with pop from the left side and high exit velocity who has not quite been a great hitter is the sort of profile that the Yankees can unlock. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.
No word on the package or where he’ll play. We’ll keep updating this post throughout the day as we learn more.
Update (4:05 pm): The Yankees announced their end of the trade, which involved giving up Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers. Those are both familiar names to followers of the Yankee farm. Here’s a refresher on both:
- Antonio Cabello: The 20-year-old outfielder was signed as an IFA in 2017 by New York. He was a stud in the GCL in 2018, hitting .321/.426/.555 in 150 plate appearances, but has been on somewhat of a downward trajectory since, largely due to injury. Overall, he’s a .251/.344/.409 MiLB hitter ~420 professional plate appearances. He was ranked the #20 prospect in the Yankees system in 2021 by Baseball America, whose scouts say his tools impress even if his performance did not in 2019. He was slated to start the season in low Class A.
- Josh Stowers: The 24-year-old outfielder was drafted by the Mariners in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft and traded to the Yankees in the Shed Long deal. He topped out with Single-A Charleston in 2019 and is a career .268/.384/.403 hitter in about 700 MiLB plate appearances. He was not included in the 2021 organizational top 30 by Baseball America, though he was #12 and #30 on those lists in 2019 and 2020, respectively. BA reports that he has a plus bat with average power (15-20 HR potential) and mediocre defense.
So that’s who the Yankees gave up. Cabello is the headliner of this deal. It was not a huge package, but it is more than I expected it to be given the fact that Odor was DFA’d by the Rangers. We’ll keep tabs on these guys moving forward, of course. Still no word on the 40-man move needed to add Odor, as neither Stowers nor Cabello were on that roster. That is still to come.
Aaron Boone predictably likes the move, saying the Yankees will “unlock” him. Here’s the full quote:
I’m not betting on it, per se, but we’ll see. They’ve certainly done it time and time again. Finally, here is the last word from Ken Rosenthal:
This was obviously not the big factor in the trade, but it certainly played a role. Optimistically, this allows for more flexibility at the July trade deadline. Realistically, it does not matter at all. Another move could also be in the works. Folks, only time will tell. Jaime will have more in-depth thoughts on the deal later on, so stay tuned for that.