In a surprising pre-deadline move, The Texas Rangers have sent RHP Peter Fairbanks to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 2B Nick Solak – is the writing now on the wall for Rougned Odor?
With the Texas Rangers preparing as both buyers and sellers for the July 31st Trade Deadline, Jon Daniels and the front office dropped the first of presumably many 2019 trade bombs Saturday afternoon.
Peter Fairbanks is packing his electric arm and heading to Tampa Bay in exchange for 2B Nick Solak, per John Blake. He also notes Nick will be assigned to AAA Nashville.
Although this trade is surely to be deemed under the radar after the July 31st League Deadline passes, the Texas Rangers quietly made a huge statement. Barring a significant boost in production, Rougned Odor’s days are officially numbered.
Now, are those days over? No – Rougie will still be a prominent feature in Chris Woodward’s lineup for the time being. Danny Santana offers immediate 2B relief, yet the naked eye would have you believe Odor will still get plentiful ABs in 2019.
But the writing is now on the wall.
Let’s look at Nick Solak. Tampa Bay’s #12 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Solak is noted to have plus hitting and running tools, with average fielding. He is slashing .266/.353/.838 with 17 HR on the year at AAA Durham and earns high praises for his overall makeup. He has a below-average arm, but MLB Pipeline notes that Solak has worked extremely hard to improve his defense at the keystone, and can make all the routine plays.
Although not yet MLB-ready, Solak seems to be putting his plus tools to use in 2019. Whether or not he immediately succeeds within the Rangers farm, there is enough upside and projection to warrant Solak a part of Texas’ long-term plans.
Trading for a AAA 2B who figures to land inside the organization’s top 10 prospect list signals change. Is change what the Texas Rangers are seeking with Rougned Odor?
One would certainly hope so. Through his first 77 games of 2019, Rougie has limped to a .194/.259/.657 performance. Two-faced would most appropriately describe Odor’s time as a Ranger – for every mammoth homerun he has hit, a disproportionate amount of non-competitive strikeouts seem to follow.
The frustration seems to have reached a boiling point.
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Even with reports on Rougie’s continued devotion to work hard and improve, results are the single-most important thing to an MLB franchise. In Rougned Odor’s case, there simply aren’t enough results to warrant consistent playing time and a future roster spot.
Trading for Nick Solak may indicate Jon Daniels is flipping his proverbial hourglass on the 2B.
This isn’t to say Rougned can’t still become the cornerstone piece everyone envisioned for the Texas Rangers. As a 22-year-old in 2016, Odor posted a .271/.296/.798 line along with 33 HR and 88 RBIs, flashing serious star potential.
If Rougie can harness his untapped talent mine, there’s reason to believe he can continue with the club and prove his 6 yr/$49.5M payday wasn’t a mistake.
If not, the Texas Rangers look to have their 2020 replacement in Nick Solak.
- Published on 07/15/2019 at 12:45 PM
- Last updated at 07/15/2019 at 12:58 PM