Rangers trade for Odorizzi, send Allard to Braves

Young says veteran pitcher is 'exactly the type of player we need'

November 10th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made their first splash of the offseason -- albeit a small one -- when the club acquired right-hander and cash considerations from the Braves in exchange for left-hander on Wednesday.

Odorizzi exercised his $12.5 million player option before the trade, and the Braves will cover $10 million of the contract, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Odorizzi, 32, spent the first half of the 2022 season with Houston before being dealt to Atlanta on Aug. 2 at the Trade Deadline. He combined to go 6-6 with a 4.40 ERA over 22 starts as he struggled with lower leg discomfort that kept him on the injured list from May 17-July 3.

He pitched to a 5.24 ERA and a 5.14 FIP over 10 starts with the Braves. He allowed nine home runs in 46 1/3 innings with Atlanta, but that homer rate could fall at spacious Globe Life Field.

“I think that this is a way we've added a better quality starting pitcher,” said general manager Chris Young. “We're in need of starting pitching, and we're excited to add Jake to the mix. He's been in winning environments, pitched meaningful games, playoff games. We think it's exactly the type of player we need. It's in line with what we said we're going to do this offseason, and we're going to look to continue to add more."

Allard mainly worked as a reliever with the big league club, posting a 7.29 ERA over 10 appearances, but he spent most of the 2022 season at Triple-A Round Rock. He returns to the club that selected him in the first round of the 2015 Draft.

An 11-year MLB veteran, Odorizzi has a career 3.99 ERA (103 ERA+) with Kansas City (2012), Tampa Bay ('13-17), Minnesota ('18-20), Houston ('21-22) and Atlanta ('22). Since 2014, his 231 starts are the fifth most in MLB among right-handers, behind only Max Scherzer (256), Zack Greinke (255), Kyle Gibson (251) and Gerrit Cole (248).

Odorizzi logged his only All-Star selection as a member of the Twins in 2019, when he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA and a career-high 178 strikeouts. Rangers catcher Mitch Garver was his batterymate that year.

With Jon Gray as the only established starting pitcher for Texas at the moment, Odorizzi figures to slot in to the back end of the Rangers’ rotation next season. It’s the first step in addressing a rotation that ranked 26th in MLB in ERA (​​4.63) in 2022.

Texas’ staff has had recent success with veteran starters, including Mike Minor in 2019, Gibson in ‘21 and Martín Pérez in ‘22. All three notched their first career All-Star appearances while with the Rangers.

If the Rangers’ offseason plays out as they hope, Odorizzi likely would slot in at No. 4 or 5 in the rotation, behind Gray, a hopefully re-signed Pérez and another free-agent acquisition or two. Internal options in the rotation continue to be Dane Dunning -- who is recovering from right hip surgery -- Cole Ragans and Glenn Otto, all of whom ended the season in the rotation. 

"You've got to have depth in the starting pitching," Young said. "There's no doubt the last couple years we've run into this, where we haven't had the depth of starting pitching, we haven't had the quality of starting pitching that we need to be successful. And this is a step in addressing that. It's a very good fit. In terms of where we are in the pitching depth that we have coming, we need veteran starting pitchers, and we're going to look to continue to look.”