Report: Yankees Finalizing Trade for Rougned Odor

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.

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16 Comments

  1. Mungo

    Not quite sure what to think of this, beyond it was…unexpected.

  2. MikeD

    A bit weird. Why not simply promote Dietrich from the alternate site if they’re looking to try a different bat than Bruce? Dietrich has remained productive against RH’d pitchers, and he can play multiple infield positions. They parted with some talent (granted, nothing significant) so the answer is they really must believe they can unlock Odor’s talent. Still, even at his best, he’s a low OBP player, generally not something they gravitate towards.

    I’ve questioned enough of these moves in the past only to be proven wrong, so I’ll wait to see it unfold.

  3. chip56

    Of course, had the Yankees just kept Shed Long then they wouldn’t have needed to make this deal in the first place 🙂

  4. chip56

    Even if Cabello and Stowers are more “minor leaguers” than “prospects” getting back a bad player is still a bad trade.

    My hope here is that someone within the Yankees brain trust has watched a ton of film on Odor and is convinced his approach at the plate can be fixed.

    My fear here is that the Yankees needed an infielder because someone is heading to the IL.

    That said, if Bruce isn’t going to hit, then an infield with DJ at 1b and Odor at 2b is better than one with DJ at 2b and Bruce at 1b.

  5. DanGer

    Yankees parting with talented players for LT relief is so backwards.

    • MikeD

      That’s not why they did it, but it’s a slight benefit structured into the deal. They obviously believe they can fix Odor, and if so, they get a 27-year-old they can keep for a couple years with zero hit to the LT. It’s still weird, but the two players traded weren’t ever playing for the Yankees.

  6. fat sancho can rake

    Well this will keep the other teams from throwing at the Yankees, just ask Jose Batista.

  7. fat sancho can rake

    its stinky trade. Get it?
    At least we will not have to see Odor on the back of his jersey.

  8. Wire Fan

    The belief that the Yankees need “pop from the left side” is growing old.

    Below average hitters that can hit an occasional HR is not what this team needs. Give me another good above average righty hitter over a bad lefty hitter with pop and “lineup balance” silliness be damned. Look at the Yankees hitting against right handers the last few years – despite being righty heavy it is not an issue.

    The focus should be on getting a decent bench bat regardless of handedness – it is not like any of the Yankee righty infielders have extreme splits.

    This obsession with handedness leads to things like the foolishness of Hicks hitting 3rd. If he was right handed he’d be hitting 6th or 7th in a fully healthy Yankee lineup.

    • Nick

      Hicks would probably hit 3rd even if he was a righty. He gets on base a lot and hits for power. That spot makes sense for him.

    • DanGer

      Hicks had the 3rd highest OBP on the team last season (after DJLM and Frazier).
      I’d actually like to see him get on base BEFORE Judge comes up.

  9. Brian M

    Cabello and Stowers for a guy that they basically DFA’d? Seems a little steep.

    • Wire Fan

      Yeah it does seem weird. Was there really that much interest in this guy?

  10. Dani

    if you think he can’t be worse than Bruce … you’re gonna have a bad time 😀

  11. Nick

    Is Bruce’s salary guaranteed? Or only while he’s on the MLB roster? Not sure how minor league deals work

  12. Gerreddardit Cole

    Well if he’s replacing Bruce I’m all for it. Bruce reminds me of Kendrys Morales. Just another old slow fat guy from a previous era. Give me the leaner quicker 27 year old Odor and they can fix him like they fixed Gio.

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