One of the longest-tenured players on the Texas Rangers roster will be forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Second baseman Rougned Odor was left off the Rangers Opening Day roster ahead of the 2021 season. He has over five years of big-league service time, meaning the Rangers cannot send him to the minors without permission. Odor is likely to request his relief with a tidy sum of over $24 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons.
So ends one of the more frustrating partnerships in recent Rangers history.
Odor looked like a budding piece of a competitive Rangers team back in 2015. He hit .261 with 16 homers and a 107 OPS+ that year, his age-21 season, then clubbed 33 homers in 2016. He would then sign a six-year, $49 million contract extension with the Rangers in the spring of 2017.
However, Odor’s career would begin to take a sharp nosedive. Following two more 30-home run seasons in 2017 and 2019, he became a player of negative value.
Rangers Did Not Value Odor Anymore
The 27-year-old ranked towards the bottom of baseball in wins above replacement from 2017 to 2020. He was just outside the bottom ten players in terms of weighted runs created plus (wRC+) during that span. Odor still had a penchant for the long ball, but almost never walked, and struck out a ton. Leading the American League with 178 punch-outs in 2019.
There was always a distinct possibility Odor would not make the Rangers’ roster. Texas attempted to move him prior to the 2020 trade deadline, but could not find a suitor to take his contract. Odor was then told he would no longer be an everyday player at second. This effectively ended the seven-year relationship between Odor and the Rangers. Now, he is all but guaranteed to resume his career elsewhere, perhaps, with the Baltimore Orioles as a possible option with their void at second base.