3 Oakland Athletics the Mariners should target at the trade deadline

One team's at the top of the AL West, one is at the bottom. Can two rivals help each other get better?
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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To no one's surprise, the Oakland Athletics are not seen as serious playoff contenders in 2024. With a record of 32-56, a run differential of -101, and FanGraphs playoff odds of 0.0%, things are looking pretty grim for the green and gold. That being said, they're known to get active during trade season, looking to build up the future of their franchise. With the Mariners in a position to win now, who should they look to acquire?

OF Brent Rooker - .261/.338/.515

At the very top of the list is the best bat that Oakland has to offer. There will undoubtedly be quite a bit of demand for Rooker, and for good reason. His breakout 2023 season saw him post a .817 OPS over 526 plate appearances and he's having an even better 2024.

Along with his current 145 OPS+, his 15 doubles, two triples, and 16 home runs exemplify his best feature: his power. Sure, he strikes out a lot (34.1%) and whiffs a lot (35.5%) but when he makes contact, his exit velocity is in the top 10% of qualified hitters. Furthermore, his barrel rate of 16.5% and average launch angle of 19.2 degrees allow him to collect so many extra base hits.

Rooker has primarily been played as a designated hitter in Oakland which may explain his offensive resurgence. Having less defensive responsibility typically allows players to be their best at the plate, but we've seen some of the best players in baseball play premier defensive positions (Aaron Judge, Gunnar Henderson) and still rake. In the field, Rooker typically takes a corner outfield spot and he's usually been a below-average defender, so who would he replace?

The easy answer is Mitch Haniger. He's on the second year of a relatively expensive $28 million contraact with a '25 player option, but he just hasn't been able to get the job done so far in 2024. His -0.8 rWAR is the result of his .614 OPS and -5 defensive runs saved. Rooker would hardly be playing Ichiro-esque defense in right field but he'd be a huge offensive upgrade, something Seattle needs to play at the next level of baseball.