Trade 3: The Chicago Cubs receive OF Brent Rooker from the Oakland A’s in return for INF Jared Young and RHP Caleb Kilian
The Oakland A’s (soon to be Vegas Aces I’m sure), are truly terrible. Even with their recent winning streak and moderate attendance to their reverse boycott, they are still historically bad. They will be looking to sell at the deadline, but aside from Brent Rooker they legitimately might not have a piece worth buying.
For my money, this may be the most interesting trade on the list. Rooker is under team control through 2027 which is his age-32 season. He’s a corner outfielder and the Cubs have their corners locked up between Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki, but Rooker’s calling card is his bat and it’s good enough to allow him to DH on a playoff team.
Much like Candelario, if Rooker could hit left-handed this one would be a no-brainer for the Cubs as he has hit .250/.350/.482 this season with 13 homers and 12 doubles on an offense that can’t protect his bat. If he could get into a lineup where he’s surrounded by players like Suzuki, Happ, Hoerner, Bellinger, and Swanson then he should see even better pitches that he can do more damage with.
The cost for such a player is significantly higher than the cost for someone like Candelario. The Cubs would be forced to deal a pitcher that they received as the main piece in the Kris Bryant deal a few years ago. Caleb Kilian has already made his major league debut and while David Ross said that he was “not ready,” he would likely represent the second or third-best starter for Oakland right now.
Beyond that the Cubs would send Jared Young who is the exact kind of player that Oakland always manages to turn into an All-Star. He’s dominating AAA this year to the tune of .320/.433/.567 and he’s played first base and the corner outfield positions so far this year. He doesn’t currently find himself in the top 30 in the system, but somehow I imagine Billy Beane doesn’t care much about MLB.com’s prospect lists.
I don’t know why The A’s would look to deal Rooker. He’s cheap, he’s relatively young, and he’s a solid player which is exactly what they covet. That being said, this package would be competitive as the Cubs would send their 17th best prospect and a hitter that could slot into their lineup today.