Padres add power, experience with Rougned Odor signing
The San Diego Padres may have the most jam-packed infield in baseball, as the signing of Xander Bogaerts will force former star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield, Ha-Seong Kim to second base, and All-Star second sacker Jake Cronenworth over to first base.
The Padres may have gone all-in on star power for this infield alignment, but this team is still going to need some quality depth for when the inevitable burst of injuries pops up and saps this team of depth. Having power and experience will make you even more desirable.
The Padres appear to have found their Goldilocks infielder in veteran masher Rougned Odor, who agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres that also brings with it an invite to spring training. Odor spent most of last season as a starting infielder with the surprising Baltimore Orioles.
Odor is far from a guarantee to make this roster, but Padres fans shouldn't just discard the possibility of him starting the season on the big league roster. If he gets hot for an extended period of time, few second basemen in the game can keep up with or equal his pure power.
The Padres signed power-hitting 2B Rougned Odor.
In many ways, Odor is the photo negative image of Kim. Whereas Kim is one of the best defensive infielders in the game with a power stroke that has not necessarily translated from his days in Korea, Odor supplemets poor fielding and plate discipline with some productive left-hand power.
In his days with the Texas Rangers, Odor hit 30 home runs three times in a four-year span. While he has not hit over .210 in four seasons thanks to his big, looping swing, the fact that he hit double-digit home runs with the Orioles and New York Yankees in limited playing time is somewhat encouraging.
Eguy Rosario figures to be San Diego's bench middle infielder, as the rest of the bench is occupied by sluggish veterans like Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz. Odor can give the Padres a proven and respected (if analytically gross) bat.
If odor can hit one or two clutch home runs against division foes that end up pushing San Diego a game or two above the rest of the common rabble in the NL West, the team's decision to bring him in will have paid off. Odor, meanwhile, gets to slug for a contender rather than a tanker.