Two bold mock Arizona Diamondbacks trade proposals

Let's look at two bold mock trade proposals the Arizona Diamondbacks could make to improve their current situation at designated hitter.

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics
Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages
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Brent Rooker
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

Arizona Diamondbacks acquire:

Oakland Athletics acquire:

-DH/OF Brent Rooker

-3B/1B Ivan Melendez and OF Gian Zapata

MLB Trade Rumors recently listed Oakland Athletics' corner outfielder/designated hitter Brent Rooker as a player the D-Backs could go after to fill the DH void in their line-up, something I recently covered. Rooker would be a massive boost to the D-Backs' starting nine. Last year, Rooker was a .246/.329/.488 batter with a .348 wOBA and 127 wRC+ through 526 plate appearances. Rooker mashed 30 home runs with a .242 isolated slugging percentage while ranking in the top 85th percentile or better in exit velocity (91.6 MPH), hard-hit rate (49.5%), and barrel rate (15.6%).

His 9.3% walk rate was above average, but he struck out in nearly a third of his total plate appearances with a K% of 32.7%. Rooker's strikeout rate wasn't the only negative of his season. He split his time as a designated hitter and corner outfield for the Athletics. As a defender, he had -4 defensive runs saved and -5 outs above average in less than 500 innings played. But if he plays most of his games at DH, this might be a massive problem.

Rooker is not only coming off a great season but is still a whole year away from even being arbitration-eligible. That's going to boost his price up. The Diamondbacks are going to have to give up something pretty valuable, so in this trade, I have the Snakes sending Ivan Melendez. Melendez, the Diamondback's first-round pick in 2022, Melendez had a great year in 2023.

Through 379 plate appearances with Hillsboro and Amarillo, Melendez slashed .272/.345/.578 with a .400 wOBA and 136 wRC+. Melendez absolutely mashed. He was one of 15 batters last season with at least 30 home runs. His isolated slugging percentage peaked at over .300 at .306. Among minor leaguers with at least 300 plate appearances, Melendez ranked 6th.

But Melendez isn't without his faults. He struck out in 34.3% of his plate appearances with a walk rate of only 7.8%. Melendez is a below-average runner with poor range. He is limited to the corners, but his defensive ability may push him over to first base long-term. But Melendez has top-of-the-line raw power. Even if his hit tool eventually develops to an average level, he'll be a 30+ home run hitter.

Along with Melendez, I have the D-Backs sending infield prospect Gian Zapata. An 18-year-old outfield prospect, Zapata was part of the D-Backs' international class last year. He was signed nearly a year ago to the date. Zapata spent his entire 2023 season at the D-Backs' Dominican Summer League affiliate, where he hit .254/.354/.522 in a 165 plate appearance sample size. Zapata struck out in 29.1% of his plate appearances but combated that with an 11.5% walk rate. He hit for good pop, ending his first look against pro pitching with a .269 isolated slugging percentage.

Zapata is a projectable player, standing at 6'4",195-LBS. He could be a plus power hitter with plus speed. He could definitely stay in center field long-term if he keeps his athleticism and speed up as he fills his frame out. But if he has to move to a corner, he has an outstanding arm that will play at all three outfield positions.

Rooker has four years of control remaining, and if he continues to be a 30+ homer/120-130 wRC+ batter, he's not going to come cheap. If the Diamondbacks want to be serious about filling the DH role via a trade, then they have to offer something serious. It might be hard to part with Melendez, but it would be a full measure.