Morosi: After losing Acuña, Braves could target Brent Rooker

May 29, 2024, 9:29 AM

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 11: Brent Rooker #25 of the Oakland Athletics reacts after hitting a so...

(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

For the second time in four years, the Atlanta Braves have lost star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to a torn ACL.

Acuña, the reigning National League MVP, suffered the injury during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates while preparing to steal third base. The 26-year-old outfielder tore his left ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2024 season, marking the second season-ending injury for the All-Star since the 2021 season (right ACL tear).

As Atlanta attempts to weather the loss of Acuña, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi shared a few names that could land on the Braves’ radar if in-house candidates don’t pan out.

One notable player mentioned by Morosi: Oakland Athletics outfielder and 2023 All-Star talent Brent Rooker.

“There is no way to replace Ronald Acuña Jr. with one player or perhaps even two players because it’s just not the right field piece of it, it’s the lead-off piece [and] the 40-homers-70-stolen-bases piece from a year ago.

“So, the point I want to make globally here is the Braves lost Acuña in 2021 right before the [2021] MLB All-Star Game, they acquired four outfielders within the next two weeks and they won the World Series,” Morosi concluded. “While I’m told for now they’re going to stay internal, I would expect at some point in time, an outfielder will arrive to Atlanta, Georgia.”

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi – May 28, 2024

More on A’s outfielder Brent Rooker

While the low-budget Athletics (23-33) have jumped out to a much better start in 2024 (they were 11-45 through 56 games one year ago), moving impact players is always on the table for this franchise.

Reports indicate that Oakland will hold onto hard-throwing reliever Mason Miller past the July 30th MLB trade deadline, but Rooker could be a player to watch as we move further into the regular season.

Rooker, who will turn 30 years old in November, could be a trade candidate if the A’s prioritize younger options like Denzel Clarke (No. 3 prospect) and Colby Thomas (No. 12 prospect) as both players ascend through the minor league levels.

Trading Rooker would sting for Oakland’s offense, especially when you look at the veteran’s numbers:

  • 11 home runs (tied for team lead)
  • 34 RBI (leads team)
  • .280 AVG (second on team)
  • .365 OBP (leads team)
  • .554 SLG (leads team)
  • .919 OPS (leads team)

Rooker is the A’s best hitter and could be their largest trade chip if they choose to add more prospects to their farm system–a common trend over the past few years, especially in deals with the Braves (Matt Olson and Sean Murphy).

Could Oakland choose to keep Rooker, who is under contract through 2027? We’ll know for sure on July 30th, but expect teams to show interest in the right-handed slugger until the deadline passes.

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Tuesday, May 28th-Thursday, May 30th – @ Tampa Bay Rays
  • Friday, May 31st-Sunday, June 2nd – @ Atlanta Braves
  • Tuesday, June 4th-Thursday, June 6th – vs. Seattle Mariners
  • Friday, June 7th-Sunday, June 9th – vs. Toronto Blue Jays
  • Monday, June 10th-Wednesday, June 12th – @ San Diego Padres

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Morosi: After losing Acuña, Braves could target Brent Rooker