Moving

No Odor on Rangers in ’21; staff shifting on from longtime 2B

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – The Texas Rangers move on from another piece of their past after telling Rouged Odor that he would no longer be part of the team.

Odor, the first second baseman in seven seasons before moving to third base this spring, was told Monday that he could no longer play every day and that he would not be on the opening schedule. He is designated for deployment unless the Rangers can make a deal with another team, which is unlikely.

“It’s strictly a baseball move, and it’s more of an organizational move,” said manager Chris Woodward. “Rougie is the guy who always considered himself an ordinary gamer, a potential superstar on his mind. And he had moments of it, especially at the beginning of his career. I don’t think it would be fair for him to give him an out-of-the-ordinary role. “

The 27-year-old infielder has two more seasons and $ 24.6 million on his six-year contract and a $ 3 million buyout on a $ 13.5 million team option in 2023.

Jon Daniels, the president of the baseball operations team, said Brock Holt, a seasoned infielder who grew up a Rangers fan, and Charlie Culberson formed the team after coming to camp as non-cadre invitees. Nick Solak will be the first second baseman.

The Rangers also said Monday that right-handed Jose Leclerc will be undergoing surgery from Tommy John and will miss the entire season. Leclerc started 2019 as closer before being downgraded after a rough opening month. He only made two appearances last year before being sidelined for the remainder of the 60-game season with a shoulder injury.

Odor’s upcoming departure comes just weeks after Texas traded Elvis Andrus for rival Oakland from AL West. Andrus was the Rangers’ opening day shortstop for the past 12 seasons and the only player left from his only two World Series teams (2010 and 2011).

The Rangers said in December that Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the AL Gold Glove-winning third baseman last season, would become their primary shortstop. They then told Andrus to prepare to play all four infield positions and maybe be the first third baseman before swapping him just before spring training started.

“I love Rougie and Elvis. They are true professionals in the truest sense of the word. But it’s kind of a fresh start for the guys in this locker room, ”said Woodward. “I think you feel that, you understand.”

Smell led Texas with 30 RBIs in 38 games during the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic, matching Joey Gallo with the team’s top 10 homers. But Odor hit only .167 total, with seven of his 11 hits in September being homers, while he hit 47 times in 138 bats. He scored .205 in a full 2019 season.

In 858 games for the Rangers since his debut at the age of 20 in 2014, he hit .237 with 146 homers and 458 RBIs.

“Ultimately, I felt that he understood the reasons we made the move. We tried to make it as good as possible. He handled it like a pro, “said Woodward.” He was honestly a classmate all spring. He did everything we asked, playing third base and doing things that made him uncomfortable. “

One of Odor’s most memorable hits with Texas was when he punched Jose Bautista in the jaw during a game in 2016. This was the height of the tension between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rangers that arose from their playoff streak last season. Bautista had hit a tiebreaking homer with three runs in the crucial Game 5 of the AL Division Series and then admired the shot before emphatically flipping his bat.

In that regular season finale the following May, Bautista made a tough take-out slide into second base. The smell reacted with the blow that sparked a brawl on the bench.

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The AP sports journalist Schuyler Dixon contributed to this.

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