Yankees: 3 highly questionable moves that could help NYY in the playoffs

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Rougned Odor #18 of the New York Yankees gestures to fans while walking off the field with Aaron Hicks #31 and Gio Urshela #29 of the New York Yankees following a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark on April 12, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Rougned Odor #18 of the New York Yankees gestures to fans while walking off the field with Aaron Hicks #31 and Gio Urshela #29 of the New York Yankees following a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark on April 12, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Rougned Odor #18 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

1. Trading for Rougned Odor

Admit it, you said “What the hell?!” when it was reported the Yankees would be trading for Rougned Odor. And we don’t blame you.

At first, nobody knew how this would help the Yankees. They’re inheriting a ton more salary? They’re getting another second baseman (the only infield position they don’t need)? And they’re adding another home run-or-bust bat to a lineup that’s filled with those? What in the world.

But the Yankees didn’t take on any of his money. The Rangers are paying for it all after Cashman sent them two prospects the team didn’t really need. And, at the end of the day, what’s wrong with acquiring a bat that’s hit 30 or more home runs in a single season three times?

All in all, Odor hasn’t been otherworldly, but he has three home runs (two of which were go-ahead dingers) across his first 11 games. He’s undoubtedly added swagger with his awesome bat flips and penchant for celebrating when things are going well.

Not only that, but he’s helped the Yankees cope with the loss of Luke Voit. Instead of manager Aaron Boone deploying Jay Bruce or Mike Ford at first base or Tyler Wade at second base, Odor has taken over at second (for the most part) while DJ LeMahieu has largely shifted to first (he’s also been at third a few times).

Odor’s given the Bombers more defensive flexibility and contributes a true major league bat in a lineup that was certainly much worse with Wade or Bruce getting starts. When the playoffs roll around, Odor will be a lethal bench weapon in the event Boone wants to toss a lefty in the lineup or he needs a pinch-hitter when somebody is slumping.