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Elephant Rumblings: A’s claim Brent Rooker off waivers

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MLB: Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

Yesterday, the A’s plucked Royals first baseman and outfielder Brent Rooker from the scrap heap. Rooker was DFA’d by the Royals earlier in the week.

Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors detailed Rooker’s history in pro baseball, which Melissa Lockard sums up pretty nicely in her above tweet. Rooker has displayed impressive power with his bat in the minors, slashing .274/.387/.590 in 906 Triple-A plate appearances, but has so far failed to carry that success into the big leagues, where he has hit .200/.289/.379 in 270 plate appearances.

Rooker, taken by the Twins 35th overall in the 2017 draft, was profiled by scouts as a marginal defender who won’t likely thrive in the outfield. Per Adams, Rooker’s performance as a corner outfielder has since borne out those expectations. If he does succeed as a major leaguer, it will most likely be as a first baseman or designated hitter who contributes primarily on offense. But the 28-year-old might still get some chances in the A’s outfield since only Ramon Laureano and Cristian Pache play outfield exclusively for the club, and Laureano could be traded this offseason.

Rooker might be a longshot, but he’s established a high ceiling in the minors and he hasn’t been hitting poorly in the majors for too long. In fact, Brent has fewer MLB PAs than both Pache and Nick Allen, who we’d be pretty happy to see equal Rooker’s MLB wRC+ of 86 at this point.

Apparently the A’s front office saw enough to take a chance on Rooker, and if he does find his groove with the A’s, he’ll be quite the bargain. Welcome to Oakland, Brent Rooker! “Sup” right back atcha and best of luck in 2023.

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