There’s another potential trade target in Oakland the Braves should keep an eye on

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The A’s are a historically bad franchise. This season, they are 6-23 with a -117 run differential. That’s almost impossible. They’re still rebuilding, and the Braves have raided their big-league ball club for two of their best players; Matt Olson and Sean Murphy. The A’s have gotten mixed results with the returns, but I don’t think they really care. For that reason, the Braves need to be closely monitoring one of their few bright spots in 2023 — left fielder Brent Rooker.

There’s a long way to go until July, but advanced metrics suggest that Rooker can absolutely keep up this pace. A Mississippi State alum, Rooker, like Matt Olson, grew up in Braves Country. He’s a Germantown, Tennessee native that was a first-round pick by the Twins in 2017.

Rooker had a rough go of things in Minnesota after a strong debut in 2020. Now, he’s tearing the cover off of the ball in Oakland. At 28 years old, he’s under team control until 2025 and should fetch a decent return for the A’s when they decide to move him. I expect the Braves to be very interested in his services if they continue to get poor production out of left field. Sam Hilliard has been a diamond in the rough, but he’s mostly a platoon option. In 2023, Rooker has been equally as good against righties and lefties.

Rooker v. RHP (2023): .381/.519/.786/1.304, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 11 BB

Rooker v. LHP (2023): .308/.367/.769/1.136, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB

There’s still a long way to go before the Braves start pondering trades, and Rooker is likely to have plenty of suitors, but Atlanta has to be thinking about what it would take to entice Oakland if they really want to complete this lineup. Post-draft, the Braves will have some additional trade chips, and I would be shocked if the Braves didn’t give the A’s a call if Rooker is still playing at a high level.

Photographer: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

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