The Oakland Athletics have acquired starting pitcher Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielder Jameson Hannah and cash considerations.
Roark started on Tuesday, in the midst of rumors linking him to Oakland and the Yankees, and allowed five earned runs on six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Expected to be one of the most coveted arms on the market when he becomes a free agent this offseason, Roark was being pursued by multiple teams at the deadline, and according to multiple reports, was one the A’s had pursued for quite some time.
Roark made his Major League debut with Washington in 2013 and went 55-39 with a 3.41 ERA in 151 games, 111 starts, over his first five seasons with the Nationals. He then went 9-15 with a 4.34 ERA in 2018 and was traded to the Reds following the season.
Though the 6-foot-2, 140-pound right-hander has a 4.24 ERA this year (and a .320 BAA against lefties) this season, he’s had a pair of horrific outings that have inflated that number in the last month. Before the calendar turned to July, he was 5-6 with a 3.36 ERA. A career 3.66 ERA pitcher with a 19.2 WAR, Roark has made at least 31 starts in each of his five previous full big league seasons. It’s likely that he replaces Daniel Mengden — 5-2 with a 4.85 ERA — in the A’s rotation, which could consist of Mike Fiers, Sean Manaea, Homer Bailey, Roark and Brett Anderson, by season’s end.
Manaea, recovering from shoulder surgery, must come off the 60-day injured list on Aug. 7, but since he has options left, he could be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas for more rehab outings. In the meantime, Chris Bassitt, who threw six shutout innings on Tuesday, has been dominant in stretches this season, going 7-5 with a 3.84 ERA and a .217 opponents’ batting average.
Roark, 32, is making $10 million this season — his final year of team control before he hits free agency — and has just over $3 million remaining on his deal (which is where the cash considerations come in). The trade that brought over Trevor Bauer and the recent return of Alex Wood made him available, while the A’s need as many arms as they can muster for the stretch run. Oakland was able to add him, Bailey and reliever Jake Diekman without dealing any of their top-10 prospects. They won’t have to make a move to add him on Wednesday, but with center fielder Ramon Laureano going on the injured list with a shin stress reaction, that spot will open up.
Hannah — the A’s No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft behind Kyler Murray, and blocked by multiple prospects including Dustin Fowler and Skye Bolt — was batting .283 with two home runs and 31 RBI in 92 games with Single-A Stockton. He hit .279 with a home run and 10 RBI in his professional debut with Short-Season Single-A Vermont last year.