When the New York Yankees decided to trade for Texas Rangers slugger Rougned Odor back in April, it was clear the organization had no plan. “Uh, we need a lefty bad … and this one’s free? We’ll take it.”
General manager Brian Cashman’s inability to properly balance the Yankees’ lineup (as well as Hal Steinbrenner’s unwillingness to exceed the luxury tax threshold) has led to this mess. The Rangers are one of the worst teams in baseball and they’re paying $13 million to not have Odor play for them.
Let that sink in.
This simply cannot be a primary lefty option for the Yankees when guys like Clint Frazier (.187) and Brett Gardner (.206) are getting ample playing time and are hitting at or below the Mendoza Line. If the Yankees need a lefty bat in the lineup, that bat simply has to be better than what Odor is doing.
We’ll admit, this wasn’t the worst gamble from Cashman. He got Odor for free. Admittedly, Odor has been clutch on occasion and helps bring the necessary good vibes to the Yankees locker room. He’s the first one out of the dugout to celebrate a big hit.
It doesn’t sound awfully momentous, but it kind of is when the rest of the Yankees’ roster is soft-spoken and reserved.
But when you pair it with a .193 batting average and .263 on-base percentage, it’s a problem.
It might be time for the Yankees to designated Rougned Odor for assignment.
His defense? It’s fine, but he’s prone to boneheaded mistakes, which we’ve seen plenty of this year. They’ve contributed to a -3 DRS at second base — a position the Yankees don’t even need help at! — for the veteran.
If Odor was versatile, this would be a totally different story.
Now with Luke Voit back, there’s truly no need for Odor, especially since Tyler Wade has made himself a much more serviceable MLB player now that he can play center field and (sort of) put the bat on the ball (he’s hitting .233, which feels like .500).
Odor’s one redeeming quality on the field so far has been his ability to come through in tight spots … but that’s more of an indictment on the Yankees’ best players than it is a testament to Odor’s abilities. He simply cannot be leading the team in this category when guys like Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres have been healthy and available for a majority of the season so far.
The fact of the matter is that Odor should be a luxury rather than a need. His power lefty bat in the bottom of most lineups would serve as some sort of a threat. But he’s used far too often toward the top of the lineup and in situations where the Yankees need somebody to come through.
Now, with Luke Voit back and Odor’s inability to play a position other than second base, his time in New York feels like it’s up … at least based on what fans are thinking. The Yankees would be better suited letting him go and calling up Hoy Jun Park.