Texas Rangers: Was Extending Rougned Odor A Mistake?
By Andrew Webb
After three consecutive solid seasons in the Majors, the Texas Rangers decide to give Rougned Odor a contract extension. He followed up that big extension with the worst season of his Major League career.
The Texas Rangers signed Rougned Odor to a six-year $49.5 million deal that runs through 2022 with a team option for 2023. Just like the curse that happens to many players, Odor followed up that big deal with an awful season.
Last season, Odor hit .204 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs in 162 games. He finished with a career low .397 slugging percentage in 2017. He also struck out 162 times and finished with a .252 OBP, both the worst of his career.
It was a truly horrendous season for Odor, but he’s still only 23 years old. There is still plenty of time for development if he can make the adjustments. It’s not an awful extension for the Rangers, if Odor bounces back even somewhat.
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At most, the Rangers are paying Odor $12.3 million per year in 2021 and 2022. He has over $13 million owed in 2023, but Texas can opt out. At that point, Odor would be in the prime of his career. Paying just $12 million is a steal for what most players get heading into their prime, but that depends on the performance.
After four seasons in Texas, Odor is hitting .247 with 88 home runs and 272 RBIs. He’s a career 4.2 WAR player, which is pretty low for a guy considered to be a franchise player. He’s young, but the Rangers may have pulled the trigger too early on this one.
The Rangers signed Odor through his arbitration seasons, but might end up paying him more than he’s worth. He doesn’t draw walks and his OBP is never a pretty number to look at. Defensively, Odor is barely league average.
Texas has now put themselves in a spot where they must believe in Odor. It’s going to be difficult for the team to move him, if Odor doesn’t bounce back. This deal is more risky than anything, and it’ll probably hurt more than help the organization.