In an offseason that could be pivotal for the Texas Rangers and their future, is trading Rougned Odor even a consideration?
Maybe the most shocking news of the week, save for reports that the Astros had a deadline deal in place to acquire Bryce Harper, was that the Chicago Cubs were willing to listen to offers on anybody including superstar, Kris Bryant. Now considered a perennial contender, the thought that the Cubs wouldn’t laugh off any approach for their talisman at third base was intriguing to any baseball fan. Inspired by that, could the Rangers make a deal that sent star second baseman Rougned Odor away from Arlington?
The young second baseman signed a new extension with the Rangers just a couple of offseason’s ago that will see him wearing the red, white and blue through 2023. At only 24 years old, that puts him under contract until he’s nearly 30. Should the Rangers even listen to offers on a player under contract for 5 years who seems to be making improvements?
With Texas desperately in need of long term pitching improvements, a package that sent Rougned Odor out of Arlington could pull in the kind of top end talent for which the Rangers are looking. Even though Odor struggled in 2017 and the first half of 2018, he still shows that he has immense potential at the plate finishing the year hitting .251 with a .751 OPS despite missing chunks of the season with injury.
Defensively, Odor made huge strides even being named a finalist for the AL Gold Glove at second base along with Ian Kinsler and Jed Lowrie. Odor led the AL in DRS, defensive runs saved, with 11 and despite missing out on the award, his improvements make him now an all-around quality second baseman.
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With these stats and abilities, his value should be fairly high especially when you consider his long-term contract situation. While he is due a fairly good amount of money over the life of the contract, he’s not overpaid and what team isn’t looking for good players at a fair value.
The Rangers would have to be eager to acquire the kind of young talented pitchers that trading Rougned Odor could bring to Texas. While it would be painful to let Odor leave, knowing that Texas had starting pitching capable of contending down the road would be enough compensation.
Ability to Replace Odor
While we spent the previous section talking about how good Rougned Odor is and can be. He is replaceable when it comes down to it, especially for a team in the situation the Rangers currently are facing. When you rank the importance of positions for legitimate success, second base comes behind starting pitching.
The Rangers also have a few players who could slot in to replace Rougned Odor at second base already on the roster. Jurickson Profar would no doubt compete for this starting job especially if Adrian Beltre returns to the club at third base. Along with Profar, Isiah Kiner-Falefa would have a shot at replacing Odor and even Willie Calhoun could get a chance to return to the infield. While none of these guys may have the defensive range and talent of Rougned, if a deal was made, these guys could fill in until the team was competitive enough for the position to be crucial.
While it wouldn’t be a popular among many Rangers’ fans the ability to turn around the franchise and return to the competitiveness we’ve become accustomed to might be too much to pass up. A frontline starter prospect along with two or three more mid-level pitching prospects probably could get Texas to listen on dealing their star second baseman. And if Texas is serious about rebuilding their franchise, any player on the roster should be available in an effort to reload the organization with top level prospects.