The Oakland Athletics might be coming off back-to-back series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers, but that won't fix their season nor turn them into World Series contenders any time soon.
That also means that the A's, obviously, are expected to be part of a large crop of franchises willing to become "sellers" ahead of the official MLB trade deadline scheduled for Aug. 1, 6 p.m. ET.
We discussed a potential trade candidate yesterday when we reported the probable interest of Oakland in exploring trading veteran OF/1B Seth Brown away from the team before we hit August. Today, it's time to tackle another possibility.
In the same article written by R.J. Anderson of CBS in which he mentioned Oakland's Seth Brown as a potential trade candidate, he also offered a second possibility that currently belongs to the Athletics organization: early-season phenom Brent Rooker. Here is what he had to write:
"Although Rooker has been one of the most productive hitters this season, it's highly unlikely that teams will value him to that extent. He was considered to be a Quad-A player entering the year, and it's not a given that he's negated that perception. Rooker has big-time raw power and a good eye, but he's swinging and missing at a higher frequency than even Joey Gallo does. It's hard to make that profile work on a consistent basis, which is why it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's cratered since launching nine home runs in April. Combine Rooker's volatile skill set with his advanced age (he'll turn 29 in November), and, as wild as it sounds, his chances of being waived later this year might be higher than those of him fetching a good return. Potential fits: Rangers, Mariners, Yankees."
Rooker has appeared in 57 games this season compared to Brown's 26, making him a much more available player than the veteran outfielder/first baseman. Rooker has stepped up to the plate 228 times hitting 51 balls and reaching base at a .360 clip. He's slashing .262/.360/.513 with 13 HR on the year to go with 37 RBI having earned 27 walks through Sunday's finale against the Brew Crew.
Brown's 91 OPS+ after Sunday's outing actually pales in comparison to Rooker's 148 figure. Among batters with 225+ PA, Rooker's OPS+ ranks 10th in the MLB only behind the likes of MVP-frontrunners Freddie Freeman, Luis Arraez, Ronald Acuña, and Shohei Ohtani, as well as fellow Athletic Ryan Noda (149 OPS+, ninth-best).
As things stand, Rooker's has been a rather surprising developing story this season for the struggling A's. In his only other season with more than 200 PA at MLB-level ball (back in 2021 with the Minnesota Twins), Rooker put up a putrid 89 OPS+, so he's clearly leveled up this season while manning the DH slot in the A's lineup fairly often.
Rooker is playing at age 28 these days and he is a way young player to just trade away without giving it all a little bit of pause. Oakland might be going nowhere and right in the middle of a rebuilding process, but that doesn't mean Rooker doesn't have tons of value going forward.
Brent Rooker should stay put in Oakland for the remainder of the season and for years to come. He's under a ridiculously cheap contract through this season with his arbitration coming in 2025 and his first true FA winter not arriving until 2028. Just for context, the Oakland A's might be the Las Vegas A's by then. Go figure.