Here’s why the Yankees traded for Rougned Odor

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Andy Martino
·1 min read
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Rougned Odor throwing Rangers white jersey
Rougned Odor throwing Rangers white jersey

Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and his pro scouting and analytics folks are always on the prowl for depth upgrades. It was in that spirit that they swung a trade on Tuesday for former Texas Rangers infielder Rougned Odor.

The Yanks acquired Odor, recently designated for assignment by Texas, for minor leaguers Josh Stowers and Antonio Cabello. Texas is paying nearly all of the remaining $27 million on Odor’s contract.

According to people familiar with the Yankees’ thinking, the reasoning behind the trade was fairly straightforward: They view Odor as someone who can back up at both second and third base, and has the potential to provide left-handed power and balance in a righty-heavy lineup.

His presence on the roster allows the Yanks to again indulge an idea they discussed in spring training, optioning Tyler Wade at some point and using Gio Urshela as the emergency shortstop.

The Yanks optioned Michael King on Tuesday, but King was always expected to be up and down this year, a consequence of his optionable status. He’ll be back.

The Yanks could also, in theory, move on from Jay Bruce at some point before Luke Voit returns, play DJ LeMahieu at first and Odor at second.

There was also a financial incentive to make the trade. As first reported by the Athletic, Odor’s luxury tax number to the Yankees is $0 -- making him a far less expensive bench/depth option than even a player making the major league minimum. That would only apply is Odor is on the 40-man roster at the end of the season.