The Baltimore Orioles have completed the signing of second baseman Rougned Odor on a one-year deal. The short-term move was completed ahead of the lockout that has occurred due to the inability for a new collective bargaining agreement to be reached.
The move won’t cost the O’s much, as part of Odor’s salary is being covered by the Texas Rangers, a similar arrangement that saw the 27-year-old spend last season with the New York Yankees. The Rangers are responsible for his $12 million salary, albeit minus the major-league minimum.
The fact that the move won’t cost the Orioles very much is what makes this something of a calculated risk worth taking. It could help push Brandon Hyde’s team a little closer to success, and when it comes to the MLB betting odds, you can see more here. Currently, the Orioles, off the back of last season’s disastrous 52-110 record, are a massive (+50000) for the World Series.
Odor is expected to be a key player in the Baltimore roster next season as his main competition for the second base spot comes from Jahmai Jones, a player unlikely to offer much resistance in that particular battle for Hyde’s attention.
Last season Odor took part in 102 games, hit 15 home runs, and his .202 average was a deal lower than his career .234 mark.
Having made it to the postseason in three of five seasons between 2012 and 2016, the Orioles have sunk back to old ways, completing five straight losing seasons since that decent spell of activity.
Hyde has been in place as Orioles manager since 2019 and is well aware of the ongoing mountain his side has to climb in the AL East.
“It’s not easy when you’re trying to compete night after night, but when you look at the big picture, there are some things for me to be excited about,” Hyde said. “Cedric [Mullins], two years ago, we didn’t know Cedric was going to be a 30/30 guy, a premiere leadoff hitter in the game, and one of the best players in the American League.”
“Ryan Mountcastle, we had high hopes for, but he’s living up to them, and that’s what you want to see – your prospects continuing to show improvement once they get to the big league, and Mounty has, putting up a 30-plus home run season and hopefully an American League Rookie of the Year Award to go along with it.”
“John Means continued to do well and has continued to show that he is a legitimate Major League starter in the American League East, and one of the better ones when he is going well. There are some bright spots in an extremely tough few years, and you hope that every year we get a few more.”
While it’s laudable that Hyde sees the positives in some of his current roster, he will hope that the addition of a player like Odor could help lead to some kind of upturn in form, though that may be a bit too much to ask.
Last season the Orioles found themselves 39 games back from the fourth spot in the AL East, held by the Toronto Blue Jays, so Hyde might want to first start setting their sights on closing that massive gap in the coming season.