Why Brent Rooker Could Get Traded Again, Best Landing Spots

Brent Rooker is no stranger to being traded. If the Oakland A's decide to deal him, which teams should be interested at the deadline?

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 22: Brent Rooker #25 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the seventh inning on May 22, 2024 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

More casual fans likely did not know the name Brent Rooker prior to his 2023 breakout year in Oakland. He played just shy of 200 games across three different seasons for three different clubs.

Drafted 35th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins back in 2017, Rooker always had elite power, but swing-and-miss restricted his opportunities.

Rooker could not break into a playing time rotation with the Twins and was ultimately dealt to the Padres with Taylor Rogers, for Chris Paddack and Emilo Pagan. A few months later he was shipped to Kansas City for Cam Gallagher, a depth catcher.

The experiment in Kansas City lasted only a couple of months before Rooker hit waivers and was scooped up by the Athletics. The swing-and-miss issues are still present (32.4% K rate) but the power has prevailed. Maybe all Rooker needed was consistent playing time and a chance to show his value.

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After slugging 30 home runs in 2023 (127 wRC+), Rooker is back to sending souvenirs this season. Through 43 games, Rooker has 11 home runs and a 163 wRC+.

If the lowly Athletics only get one slot for an All-Star this year, Rooker’s spot might be taken by flamethrowing sensation Mason Miller, who MLB will undoubtedly want at the Midsummer Classic. Considering his numbers though, Rooker just might make it to Texas solely on his own merit as one of the top hitters in the American League.

With Miller and Rooker potentially starring in front of all eyes at the All-Star Game, the front office will undoubtedly be convening in some tiny room in the bowels of the Oakland Coliseum, trying to crunch the numbers on how to best maximize this opportunity to rebuild a farm system at a single deadline.

Why Now is the Time to Trade Brent Rooker

Yes, Oakland has been notorious for shipping off good players. Develop and deal. A strategy that has actually worked pretty well for them since the turn of the century.

However, these players are typically moved once they are near free agency. Rooker, making $750,000 in his last year before arbitration, will not hit free agency until after the 2027 season.

Just like we can debate with Mason Miller, the amount of team control the Athletics have gives them leverage, as they need-not-be in any rush to deals these guys without getting their price in prospect capital.

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With that said, the uncertain future of the soon-to-be Sacramento Athletics, could lead the A’s to being more aggressive sellers at the deadline. Looking ahead to an apparent future in Las Vegas.

Because of his low salary, team control, and massive power, Rooker will be one of the more coveted players at the deadline. Several teams not only would welcome a power bat, but a contract that would keep them from surpassing tax thresholds or making difficult financial decisions down the road. A perfect scenario.

Let’s take a look at teams who could be in on Rooker.

TeamCorner OF DepthDH
Cleveland GuardiansKwan, Brennan, Fry, Florial/ Manzardo
Kansas City Royals Melendez, Renfroe, Frazier, BlancoVelazquez
Milwaukee BrewersYelich, Frelick, Perkins, WiemerHoskins (IL)/Bauers
Chicago CubsHapp, Tauchman, Suzuki, Morel
Atlanta Braves Kelenic, DuvallOzuna
Philadelphia Phillies Castellanos, Marsh, MerrifieldSchwarber
Los Angeles Dodgers Hernandez, Heyward, Pages, TaylorOhtani
San Diego Padres Tatis Jr., Profar, AzocarArraez/Boegarts
Seattle Mariners Raley, Haniger, Cazone MooreGarver
*In no particular order*

Before you ask, let me explain the contenders I left out. Texas has enough options. Astros might not be in a position to do so plus have a depleted farm to trade from. Twins, well, I don’t think they’ll do the reunion. Orioles have enough, plus will use trade capital elsewhere. Yankees can’t even fit Jasson Dominguez in, much less find a place for at-bats for Rooker.

Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland might just be the perfect match. There’s nothing they love more than trading for a player with control. Usually, that player is more of a “just graduated from prospect status” type, but they would make an exception for a power bat like Rooker.

The Guardians lineup is simply not strong enough, in my opinion, to be a serious threat. They have several prospects ready to fill a role, but haven’t handed that role over. A type of player the Athletics also like adding. Adding pop to the Naylor/Ramirez duo would do wonders.

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Kansas City Royals

Kansas City is starting to feel like this year’s sweetheart team. The small market team that starts to emerge and perform, but needs a little help. Melendez and Renfroe simply are not getting it done and the others cannot come close to the production Rooker would bring.

Their farm system might not have enough high-end talent to make them feel comfortable trading away, especially for a guy they already elected didn’t fit what they wanted in a player.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have made some unique moves at the deadline and have mostly fared well with their trades. They have the prospect talent and depth to pull this off. A team that is often struggling with payroll, they might see this as the perfect option to be aggressive as ever.

Chicago Cubs

Will Mike Tauchman come back down to earth? Michael Bush sure has. Seiya Suzuki has dealt with injuries and Patrick Wisdom is just the poor man’s Rooker. We know the Cubs have been hungry to get back to the playoffs and they have shown they are more than willing to invest in doing so. One of the better farm systems with a mix of young prospects and other options who could plug right in.

Atlanta Braves

Obvious fit with Ronald Acuna Jr.’s injury, an offense that hasn’t really hit their stride, and another year of ehhh play in left. Problem is, the Braves have burned the A’s on both the Olson and Murphy trade. Will Oakland even pick up the phone at this point?

Braves system cannot top others offers as well.

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Philadelphia Phillies

Knowing how the Phillies operate, there’s not a name too big for them to go after. Nick Castellanos has been a mediocre (at best) signing and Johan Rojas has not come around. If you could stick Rooker, a poor defender, in left and move Marsh to center you could make one of the best teams even better.

Los Angeles Dodgers

For as much star power as the Dodgers have, they have been forced to put out some pretty weak lineups recently. Injuries and under performance has left the Dodgers with half the lineup being all stars, and the other half replaceable. Can’t ever count out the Dodgers.

San Diego Padres

A possible reunion? A.J. Preller is never afraid to make any trade. We already saw him pull the trigger on Luis Arraez. It’s not impossible to think Preller’s job could be on the line. A lot of flashy moves and money thrown around and for what? If he thinks his back’s against a wall he’ll make the trade because he might not be around if/when it doesn’t work out.

Seattle Mariners

Jerry Dipoto, another guy who cannot resist a trade, might look at the AL West in a down year and know it’s time to go for it. They have a rotation you would hate to waste, and a solid enough team that Rooker could really boost the offense. However, I think the Mariners have the prospects and desire to target a star of a higher caliber than Rooker, leaving him as a plan B.

I guess I should address the last option, the A’s keeping him. As much as I would like the Athletics to keep stars, I think they will see this as a high point and move Rooker. I imagine last year the offers were not as stronger due to a small sample size, but now teams have more data and production is still there. Cash in, stock a farm that isn’t exactly strong, and have a better chance at being competitive once you move to Vegas.