Cincinnati Reds: Grading the Tanner Roark trade to the Oakland Athletics

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 18: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park April 18, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 18: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park April 18, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds traded veteran pitcher Tanner Roark to the Oakland Athletics for recently drafted outfield prospect Jameson Hannah. This trade gets a B+ in my book.

The trade deadline has come and gone and with it, a myriad of emotions that will take some time to digest. For now, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tanner Roark, after eating lunch at Arby’s, is headed to the Oakland Athletics. In return, the Reds picked up outfield prospect Jameson Hannah.

Roark will have the opportunity to pitch the Athletics into a Wild Card spot. The A’s are currently 14 games over .500 and are a half-game out of the second AL Wild Card position. We certainly wish Tanner Roark all the success. He’s a class act.

Last week I presented a case to keep Roark around in Cincinnati for a few more seasons. At 33-years old, an innings eater, and some playoff experience, Roark certainly could have been a nice No. 3 or 4 starter in a solid Reds rotation for the next few seasons.

Being in the final year of a $10M contract, the Cincinnati Reds chose to shop Roark, especially in light of acquiring Trevor Bauer and seeing positive signs from Alex Wood‘s start on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies. The Oakland Athletics, needing a veteran starting pitcher for their stretch playoff run, were the suitors for Roark’s services.

Roark leaves the Reds with a 6-7 record, 4.24 ERA, and a 1.423 WHIP. His 110 innings pitched were clutch for this team that has hovered just below the .500 mark for the entire season. He also had a WAR of 1.8, which leaves me to remember Tanner Roark as a grinder, mentally tough, and a stable pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation.

In exchange for Roark, the Cincinnati Reds acquired Jameson Hannah from Oakland. Hannah, just 22-years old, is a native of Flower Mound, Texas just outside of Dallas. At 5’9″ and 185 pounds, Hannah is known as a speedy outfielder known more for his defense.

However, his slash line of .284/.341/.381 in 414 plate appearances at Advanced-A Stockton (CA) suggests that he may have more offensive capability than advertised. He’s only hit a pair of home runs this year, has 31 RBIs, and swiped six bases during his 2019 campaign.

Hannah attended Dallas Baptist, a school that just this past season knocked off the nationally recognized SEC power Florida Gators in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. A three-year player for Dallas Baptist, Hannah slashed .341/.424/.518.

Hannah was drafted in the second round of the 2018 MLB draft and was regarded as the No. 8 overall prospect in the Oakland A’s organization according to MLB Pipeline. Hannah is now considered to be a Top 10 prospect within the Reds organization and it’s expected that he will report to the Reds Advanced-A affiliate, the Daytona Tortugas.

This is not a trade that is going to shock the baseball world nor leaves the fans in Reds Country with a sense of excitement or sadness like the trades of Scooter Gennett or, your friend, Yasiel Puig have left many of us over the past several days.

However, what the Cincinnati Reds gave up in this trade was a hard working, innings eater, who manager David Bell could run out there every five days. Bell knew that Roark would give the Redlegs an opportunity to compete each time he stepped on the mound.

What this trade does do is free up $10-plus million  in payroll to re-sign the likes of Alex Wood and then potentially Trevor Bauer after the 2020 season. By brining a prospect such as Jameson Hannah, it also adds outfield depth in the farm system that was depleted due to the trade of Taylor Trammell to the San Diego Padres.

We certainly don’t know what type of character and integrity that Hannah is bringing to Cincinnati, as Trammell was said to be very well-liked and respected. However, if there are comparisons to be made, Hannah’s slash line of .284/.341/.381 is similar to that of Trammell’s 2018 numbers while at Single-A Dayton.

Overall, I like this trade and give the Reds a B+. While I certainly was welcoming and hoping that the Cincinnati Reds would highly consider re-signing Roark, it is more than fair to say that with the addition of Trevor Bauer and hopefully a productive Alex Wood, this Reds starting rotation is now one of the best in all of baseball.

Next. Projecting the Reds starting lineup post-deadline

Adding a young, athletic outfielder in Jameson Hannah re-tools the Reds prospects to hopefully enhance the team in the years to come. Welcome to the Cincinnati Reds, Jameson Hannah and best of luck to Tanner Roark in Oakland.