Texas manager Chris Woodward said he believes the team would be better with Odor at third base and Nick Solak at second base, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The Rangers are in rebuild mode and informed Odor, who has a 0.1 WAR over the last two seasons, that his role as a starter is not guaranteed. The organization told him to be prepared for work at other positions, namely third base. Odor, who reports to camp Monday, has been off the radar during the offseason, working out privately. "He knows what he's got to do," president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said Sunday. "I'm looking forward to seeing where he's at." Woodward believes second base is Solak's best defensive position and thinks Odor can handle the challenge of third base. However, he will not be handed the job. Odor will be challenged by Brock Holt and Charlie Culberson.
Texas general manager Chris Young told MLB Network Radio that Odor could play multiple positions in 2021, Kennedi Landry of the Rangers' official site reports. Odor's notoriously poor batting average -- he batted .197 over the last two seasons -- appears to have finally cost him a spot in the everyday lineup. "We're going to try to put him in a lot of different positions," Young said. "We'd like to see him spend some time at second, third, potentially in the outfield a little bit, and just see if and where he's improved, and how during this offseason, he's been able to kind of make the steps and strides that we need to see in terms of the player that we believe he can become." Nick Solak will be given the opportunity to win the starting job at second base, while Odor explores opportunities around the diamond.
Odor will move to a utility role if Nick Solak beats him out for the second base job this spring, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports. The only thing standing in Solak's way is proving he can handle the keystone defensively. Odor has hit .205 or worse in three of the last four seasons, and it seems like the Rangers have run out of patience in the sense that he will no longer be given playing time based on reputation alone. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was announced as the team's starting shortstop Tuesday as well, so Elvis Andrus will also be occupying a utility role. If Solak wins the everyday job at second base, Odor could see time at third base until prospect Josh Jung gets the call.
Odor went 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI, one walk and one strikeout in Sunday's win against the Astros. Odor had gone just 1-for-19 over his previous five games, but he had a strong season finale with home runs in the fourth and fifth innings. The 26-year-old hit a career-worst .167 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI during the shortened 2020 season.
Odor is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks. The lefty-hitting Odor will bow out of the lineup with southpaw Alex Young on the hill for Arizona. Nick Solak checks in at second base for Odor, who went hitless with four strikeouts in eight at-bats over his last two games.