Texas Rangers rumors: Rougned Odor could key a Chris Sale trade between the Rangers and Chicago White Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal, who has a piece this morning about untouchable players who, if they became touchable, could convince the ChiSox to part with their lefty ace.
The Rangers have pursued Sale, as well as ChiSox starting pitcher Jose Quintana, for a while now. The 27 year old has finished in the top six in the A.L. Cy Young voting each of the last five seasons, has put up 27.6 bWAR over that span, and is under team control through 2019 for a total of just $38 million.
Of course, for a pitcher that good, that young and that cheap, the White Sox asking price is exceptionally high, as Rosenthal notes. And if the Rangers were to part with Odor, that still wouldn’t be enough to land Sale -- you would probably have to also include Joey Gallo, plus a couple of other prospects, or perhaps Nomar Mazara.
While trading Odor is unlikely, the presence of Jurickson Profar — who was supposed to be the second baseman of the present, and future, until he missed two years with a labrum issue — would conceivably provide the team with a replacement who may provide similar performance, and who is under team control for almost as long as Odor (3 years for Profar versus 4 years for Odor). If the Rangers value Profar more than the trade market does — at that seems likely -- it may be that keeping him and dealing Odor is the best way to maximize value.
Of course, Odor has become a centerpiece to this Rangers’ squad, and his 33 home run, .271/.296/.502 2016 campaign has the Rangers talking long-term extension with him. He’s a key piece of the Rangers’ core...which, of course, is why Rosenthal puts him in the (normally) “untouchable” category, and is why his being offered in a Sale deal could be a game-changer, in terms of getting a deal done.
Sale would be a huge pickup for the Rangers, giving the Rangers a terrific top three at the front of their rotation, and would cushion the blow of the (likely) departure of Yu Darvish after 2017. That said, I would be surprised if the Rangers were willing to part with the players necessary to get a deal done.