An interesting trade idea between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics

MLB Trade Rumors recently listed this Oakland Athletics player as an interesting potential trade target for the Arizona Diamondbacks to fill their need at designated hitter.

Jul 29, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Brent Rooker (25) following
Jul 29, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Brent Rooker (25) following / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks need a designated hitter. They would be lining up Dominic Fletcher at DH right now if the season was to start tomorrow. They have been connected to some free agents, but MLB Trade Rumors proposed an interesting idea in analyzing some potential DH options for the Snakes. One of the options Anthony Franco, the MLB TR writer who authored this piece, listed is Brent Rooker from the Oakland Athletics as a potential trade target for the Diamondbacks.

Rooker would definitely be a big middle-of-the-order bat for the Diamondbacks. Last year, in 526 plate appearances, Rooker slashed .246/.329/.488 with a .348 wOBA and 127 wRC+. The outfielder/designated hitter bashed 30 home runs while having a .246 isolated slugging percentage, the 15th-highest ISO in baseball last year. While Rooker walked at a quality 9.3% rate, he also struck out nearly a third of the time with a 32.7% K-rate.

Rooker could definitely keep this power production up next year. He was in the 85th or better percentile in exit velocity (91.6 MPH), hard-hit rate (49.5%), and barrel rate (15.6%). Only eight batters had a higher barrel rate than Rooker, some of whom included Shohei Ohtani, Matt Olson, Kyle Schwarber, and Adolis Garcia. He also had a .480 xSLG%, which is nearly identical to his bottom line.

Rooker is best suited to play designated hitter full-time. He was an awful defensive outfielder last season with -4 defensive runs saved and -5 outs above average in less than 500 innings in the grass. Rooker has about league-average speed at 27.1 feet/second and slightly above league-average arm strength as his outfield throws averaged 86.1 MPH, but that’s about where the positives end for any defensive value he could possibly bring to the table.

Brent Rooker is an interesting trade target listed by MLB Trade Rumors.

One thing to factor in is Rooker’s contract status. 2024 is his last year before hitting arbitration, so as of right now, he has four years of control remaining. If he can continue being a 120-130 wRC+ batter, Rooker would be extremely affordable dollars wise, given his salary and production. But that might also mean the A’s have a high prospect price tag on him.

The D-Backs might have to make a tough decision if they were to trade for Rooker. Would they be willing to part with one of their higher-end prospects, like Ivan Melendez or Jansel Luis, as a headliner? This could also be an opportunity to use some of the top outfield talent in the system to bolster the Major League roster. Maybe a package of Melendez plus one of Jorge Barrosa, Jack Hurley, Dominic Fletcher, or Kristian Robinson would get the job done.

Regardless of the price, it is an interesting idea to keep in mind. The Diamondbacks need a designated hitter, and the A’s could have one of the best DH trade options on the market if they put him on the block. But if this was a player the D-Backs were to go after in trade, I would be 100% on board. A controllable player who could provide 30+ home runs next season would give the D-Backs’ line-up the extra thump it needs.