While the past 24 hours have brought up a number of questions, it is now certain: Rougned Odor will no longer play for the Texas Rangers.
Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels announced on Monday that Odor was informed he would not be on the Opening Day roster. The team will designate him for assignment, though they don't have to officially make the move until Thursday morning's deadline to finalize the 26-man roster.
"All of these decisions are challenging whether somebody has been with you for 10 years or six weeks," Daniels said.
"Really what it came down to was, we've made a decision, obviously a pretty clear direction, looking towards the future. Playing him every day was not in our plans this year. Then as we look forward, we think we're gonna have some younger players coming up, and we didn't think it was in his best interest or our best interest to kind of force the issue into a bench role. So we made the decision to make the move now."
Though the Rangers are excited about what the future could bring with their younger players, that didn't make the Monday morning conversation with Odor any easier.
"Honestly, he handled it really well," Woodward said. "But it's never easy to do. Obviously, it's the worst part of our job, giving that news to a player. But at the end of the day, I felt he understood the reasons why we made the move. We tried to lay it out the best we could. He handled it like a pro."
Daniels also confirmed they have talked to other clubs about a trade over the course of the winter and spring. They will keep that possibility open over the next several days, but they are not expecting to find a fit. In addition, they did not ask Odor to accept an assignment to the minor leagues.
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The Rangers would obviously prefer to find a way to trade Odor. If they can't find a trade partner, the Rangers will have a $27 million pill to swallow.
Taking Odor's place in the infield will be non-roster invitee Charlie Culberson, who was told Monday morning he would be on the Opening Day roster.
Daniels and Woodward were clear that though Odor’s standing with the club had fallen over the past several months, there was a chance he could make the team out of camp. Ultimately, the decision to cut ties with Odor was "strictly a baseball move."
"He was in a lot of our conversations on a daily basis," Woodward said. "We set that standard from day one that this was going to be competition. Nothing is given. At the end of the day, sometimes they do everything right, but the production's not there."
Odor slashed .200/.300/.400 with two home runs and five RBI in 40 plate appearances this spring.
While the trade of Elvis Andrus signaled the Rangers may be setting a new precedent, the decision to sever ties with Odor confirms it:
This is a new era of Texas Rangers baseball.