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July 08, 2024

MLB trade rumors: Phillies 'keeping a close eye' on outfielder Brent Rooker

Will the Phillies make an upgrade in the outfield ahead of the MLB trade deadline? Former All-Star Brent Rooker could be an option for them.

Phillies MLB
USATSI_23693875.jpg D. Ross Cameron/USA Today Sports

Could slugger Brent Rooker be the missing piece of the Phillies' lineup?

The Phillies are desperate for some right-handed pop in the outfield in a platoon with (or as a flat-out upgrade over) lefty Brandon Marsh. It should be on the top of the priority list for Dave Dombrowski and co. ahead of the MLB trade deadline. 

The latest rumor ahead of July 30 concerns the Phillies and A's left fielder Brent Rooker.

Bob Nighengale of USA Today reported on Sunday that the Phils are "keeping a close eye" on Rooker.

Rooker, 29, was an All-Star for Oakland in 2023 with an .817 OPS and 30 home runs. He's been even better this season with an OPS of .891, having already mashed 18 homers.

What makes Rooker so valuable to the Phillies specifically is his ability to hit left-handed pitching.

Marsh is getting the starting nod when the Fightins face right-handed starters and he's teed-off on them. Here are his lefty-righty splits, along with Rooker's for 2024:

 vs RHPvs LHP
Marsh.291 BA, .847 OPS, 16 XBH
.152 BA, .400 OPS, 1 XBH
Rooker.282 BA, .864 OPS, 24 XBH.262 BA, 986 OPS, 11 XBH

Rooker can hold his own against right-handed pitching as well with splits not as disparate as Marsh, so perhaps there's even more optionality for the Phillies where Marsh can play center field next to Rooker on some days, too.

As for his contract status, Rooker has three arbitration years remaining on his contract behind 2024. Maybe Oakland can just leave him in Philly this weekend when the A's come to town and be Marsh's platoon partner for the foreseeable future.

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