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#pounditMonday, June 24, 2024

Braves linked to AL All-Star outfielder after Ronald Acuña Jr. injury

An Atlanta Braves hat on top of a glove

Jul 26, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella (not pictured) hat and glove in the dugout against the San Diego Padres in the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves after Ronald Acuña Jr’s season-ending injury.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Tuesday that Oakland Athletics outfielder Brent Rooker is among the names that the Braves are now looking at as a trade deadline possibility. Morosi also mentions Tommy Pham of the Chicago White Sox and Taylor Ward of the Los Angeles Angels as two other such outfield options. However, the Braves are reportedly planning to go with internal personnel to fill in for Acuña for the time being.

The reigning NL MVP Acuña was just lost for the season with a torn ACL that he suffered on a non-contact play over the weekend (video here). Acuña was the Braves’ everyday right fielder, and his injury now creates a serious void in their lineup (which they are filling for now by sliding Adam Duvall into right field and inserting Jarred Kelenic into left).

When it comes to a longer-term solution for Atlanta, Rooker is definitely the most intriguing of those trade targets. He is in his prime at 29 years old and was an All-Star last season for the Athletics. Rooker is leading Oakland this season with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs on a .286 batting average and a .933 OPS. He also provides lineup flexibility with his ability to DH or play either corner outfield spot.

At 30-21, the Braves are way behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the NL East lead but at least have a stranglehold on the first NL Wild Card spot. They recently added some depth in the form of an ex-All-Star infielder and may now have to add more after the devastating loss of Acuña for the year.


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