The Oakland Athletics made a move to upgrade their rotation on Wednesday, acquiring veteran right-hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds welcomed Trevor Bauer to their rotation on Tuesday but are now parting with another starting pitcher after trading Tanner Roark to the Oakland Athletics.
The Reds are sending the 32-year-old Roark to Oakland in exchange for Minor League outfielder Jameson Hannah, a deal first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Roark was in his first season with the Reds after being acquired in a trade from the Washington Nationals in December. The right-hander is 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 starts for Cincinnati in 2019. He last took the mound for the Reds on Tuesday, giving up five earned runs over 3.1 innings in an 11-4 loss marred by a massive benches-clearing brawl in the ninth inning.
Roark, though, has been solid as of late. Other than a rough outing against Colorado on July 13, where he surrendered seven runs on 13 hits in 4.2 innings, he has a 3.06 ERA in his six other starts since the middle of June.
A seven-year MLB veteran, Roark is 70-61 in his career and has twice won at least 15 games in a season. He’s making $10 million this season before becoming a free agent.
Roark is joining an Athletics club that is right in the playoff mix in the American League. The Athletics are 32-19 since the beginning of June, holding the second-best record in the AL over that span, and entered play on Wednesday with a half-game advantage over the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.
The Athletics were in need of a veteran starter with playoff experience. Frankie Montas was having an All-Star caliber season before he was handed an 80-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs; even when he returns to the rotation in September, Montas won’t be eligible for the playoff roster. Mike Fiers, second to Montas in team ERA, has pitched just one inning in the postseason in his career, while Brett Anderson last pitched in October in 2015 and has a 20.32 ERA in his last two postseason appearances.
Sean Manaea, expected to be the Athletics ace this season, hasn’t pitched all year after shoulder surgery. Oakland traded for starter Homer Bailey from the Kansas City Royals earlier in July, but Bailey has struggled in his three starts giving up 14 earned runs in 14.2 innings.
The Reds, seven games under .500 and 6.5 games back of a Wild Card spot, had some room to deal Roark after getting Bauer from the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.
Hannah, the other piece in the deal, is a 21-year-old who’s currently batting .283 at Single-A Stockton this season. He’s ranked as the Athletics’ eighth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline.