The Padres have agreed to a deal with free-agent second baseman Rougned Odor, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Odor, a client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, has already arrived at Padres camp this morning, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.
Odor and the Padres agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, tweets Cassavell. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune adds that Odor still needs to pass a physical before the deal becomes official. That process will get underway shortly.
Odor, still just 29, reached the big leagues as a 20-year-old with the Rangers back in 2014 and, by 2016, looked like one of baseball’s best young second basemen. To that point in his career, he’d slashed .265/.302/.464 while steadily increasing his power output. Odor belted 33 home runs in 2016, offsetting a woeful 3.0% walk rate and .296 OBP with huge power, solid bat-to-ball skills and quality defense at second base.
That ability to make contact has waned over the years, however, and Odor’s production at the plate has been dismal of late. Dating back to 2019, he’s a .201/.274/.398 hitter (78 wRC+). He’s begun to take more walks, but his 7.6% rate over the past four seasons is still below average. Meanwhile, his once better-than-average strikeout rate has ballooned to 27.8% since ’19. He did improve on that front with the Orioles last year (23.1%), but the 2022 season also included Odor’s lowest power output since his rookie season (13 home runs in 472 plate appearances, .150 ISO).
San Diego currently projects to have right-handed bats at third base (Manny Machado), shortstop (Xander Bogaerts) and second base (Ha-Seong Kim), as well as an all-right-handed bench (Luis Campusano, Jose Azocar, Adam Engel, Brandon Dixon). Odor will compete for a spot as a lefty option off the bench, joining non-roster veterans like David Dahl, Preston Tucker, Alfonso Rivas and Max Schrock in that regard. He’ll also give the Padres some depth during the World Baseball Classic, with both Kim and Bogaerts away from the club representing their respective countries.
The agreement between the Padres and Odor marks yet another reunion between a former Ranger farmhand and Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller, who previously was an assistant GM in Texas. Over the past several years under Preller, the Padres have also taken looks at veterans such as Jurickson Profar, Ian Kinsler, Nomar Mazara, Keone Kela, Mitch Moreland, Carl Edwards Jr. and Luis Sardinas — among many others. The current roster features former Rangers Yu Darvish, Nelson Cruz and Nick Martinez.