The Reds got back outfielder Jameson Hannah in a deal that Roark said didn’t come as a total surprise. However, he was confident enough in remaining with the team that he decided it would be a good idea to drive to Atlanta, where Cincinnati is set to begin a series against the Braves on Thursday.
If Roark was tempting fate with that move — he said his main motivation was to bring the “family car” back to the home in Atlanta he shares with his wife — he was soon tempted by, you know, the meats.
The 32-year-old right-hander only made it about 20 minutes out of Cincinnati before he had a craving for a “Beef 'n Cheddar and curly fries,” he told reporters. He was chowing down in the parking lot when started hearing “chatter” about the end of his Reds tenure.
Even though he hadn’t directly “heard anything from anybody” on the team, Roark said, he then “realized I probably should come back, if everybody’s texting me about it.” The good news was that he had interrupted his trip so quickly, and wasn’t “like three hours, or something” down the road.
Having spent the first six seasons of his major league career with the Washington Nationals, Roark was sent to Cincinnati in a December trade for righty reliever Tanner Rainey.
Roark said Wednesday that he “knew, coming in this year, there was a possibility of being traded” by the Reds. “That’s how the game is nowadays, and I’m a free agent next year,” he said, “so I’m excited for it.”
Having gone from a team that was 49-56 at the time of the trade to a club with a 61-47 record, Roark said of the A’s, “They’re playing really good baseball, they’re right in the wild card hunt, so I’m excited to be a part of that.”
On Tuesday, the Reds traded for starting pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians, leaving Roark with the impression that he would likely be dealt as well.
“I mean, we had, what, seven starters?” he said with a laugh. “So there are two guys that are odd men out, so it was in my head.”
Asked whether he was now planning on driving to Oakland, Roark smiled and replied, “That’s a no.”
“This is a gamer that gets after it,” A’s Manager Bob Melvin said of Roark, who went 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 starts for the Reds. “He competes really hard, he throws strikes. He works quickly, which the fielders enjoy. Nice addition for us.”
We've got a new addition to Hero-Town!— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 31, 2019
We've acquired right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds for minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah. Roark is 70-61 with a 3.66 ERA in 203 games, 162 starts, in seven seasons in the majors.#RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/ul3kXpS1VQ
That a pitcher they dealt away happened to be in an Arby’s parking lot at the time was arguably the least unusual story to emerge from the Reds’ trade-deadline moves. The acquisition of Bauer came just two days after his last act for the Indians was to hurl a baseball from the pitching mound over the wall in center field, when Manager Terry Francona came out to lift him from a shaky start against the Kansas City Royals.
“Right now, I’m just focused on the negative impact I’ve had on our culture, and our team and organization,” Bauer said after that game, “and trying to make reparations to the people in this clubhouse and in our organization.”
Bauer was still in Cleveland on Wednesday, a fact that became public knowledge when he was spotted in the stands at Progressive Field, taking in the Indians’ home game against the Houston Astros.
Then there was Yasiel Puig, who was dealt to the Indians in the Bauer trade. News of that deal broke during the eighth inning of Cincinnati’s game Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Puig not only stayed in the game, he was a central figure in a massive brawl that broke out in the ninth inning.
As for Roark, his tale managed to reach Arby’s, which said on Twitter, “We don’t have many restaurants in Oakland, so we hope he was able to finish his Beef 'n Cheddar before heading out.”
In fact, a quick search indicated that there are no Arby’s restaurants at all in Oakland and, perhaps not surprisingly, none in San Francisco, either.
That might be okay with Roark, who told reporters on Wednesday, “I’ve got my fast-food fill for the next two months.”
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