Texas Rangers receive two young Yankees prospects for Rougned Odor in nice surprise

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Stefan Stevenson
·3 min read
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The Texas Rangers weren’t counting on it, but they’ll take it.

The New York Yankees traded two young prospects for Rougned Odor, the embattled former Rangers infielder who did not make the club’s Opening Day roster and was designated for assignment last week.

The Rangers receive outfielder Josh Stowers, 24, and catcher/outfielder Antonio Cabello, 20, from the Yankees.

The Rangers are also receiving cash considerations, which means the Yankees will pay the prorated minimum of Odor’s salary while the Rangers will continue to pay the bulk of his remaining 2021 salary ($570,500) and whatever the newly-negotiated minimum salary is in the 2022 collective bargaining agreement.

President of baseball operations Jon Daniels said the club was prepared to receive nothing in return for letting Odor go.

“We made the move without knowing we could trade him,” Daniels said. “We had to be comfortable with no financial relief [in return].”

So for the Rangers, receiving two young prospects was a pleasant surprise.

“We prioritized the talent rather than the financial aspect of it,” he said. “When we made the decision to designate Rougie prior to Opening Day that decision was more or less made at that point. We knew that we could be locking ourselves into no [financial] relief. We’ll get a small amount of financial relief, effectively the league minimum.”

If Odor’s option is picked up by the Yankees after the season the Rangers would get relief on the buyout, “but we’re not necessarily making the deal with that in mind,” he said.

Stowers was drafted in the second round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Louisville. He was traded to the Yankees as part of the deal that sent Sonny Gray to Cincinnati. Stowers’ career at Louisville overlapped in 2016 with Rangers second baseman Nick Solak.

“We’re looking forward to get them into the system and continuing their development,” Daniels said.

Stowers played center field at Louisville and has played all three outfield spots in the minors. Daniels said a former member of the Mariners’ front office praised Stowers’ makeup.

Rangers scouts had positive reports on Cabello as well. He spent time as a catcher before signing with the Yankees in 2018 out of Venezuela. He had a .251 batting average, eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 102 games in 2018 and 2019. He has played exclusively in the outfield in the Yankees’ organization, but Daniels said Cabello could get some work at catcher in the Rangers’ system.

Cabello last played for Pulaski in the rookie Appalachian League in 2019. Before this season, Baseball America rated him the 20th best prospect in the Yankees’ system. FanGraphs had him rated No. 23.

Odor was designated for assignment on Thursday. He was signed at age 17 as a non-drafted free agent and made his MLB debut in 2014. He batted .237 with 146 home runs and 459 RBIs in 858 games with Texas.

Brett Martin update

Left-hander Brett Martin, who has been recovering from back spasms, is scheduled to pitch two innings at the club’s alternate site on Wednesday. Daniels is hopeful Martin will be an option to come off the injury list by the weekend.