The Braves began searching for a right-handed hitting power bat before the trade deadline madness began. Tonight they got their man.
As first reported by Trent Rosecrans (Twitter link), the Atlanta Braves agreed to send Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, and Preston Tucker to Cincinnati for outfielder Adam Duvall.
Word of the trade arrived as were enjoying a Braves victory and the news broke that the Nationals were listening to offers on Bryce Harper. Later in the evening, the Phillies fell to the Red Sox in 13 innings… their 2nd lengthy game in under a week. It was a good night for Atlanta.
Alex Anthopoulos gave three criteria he ideally wanted for anyone he’d acquire: (1) be good defensively, (2) be more than a rental and (3) come at a fair price.
The Braves picked up Duvall for essentially nothing. Sims wins in AAA but never made his mark in the majors and Wisler flashed good stuff on occasion but never put things together consistently. Both pitchers are replaceable from within.
Tucker put on the best performance this season but he lost his job when Ronald Acuña arrived in Atlanta. Since then he’s hit well at AAA as a lefty hitter he became excess.
The price more than meets the GM’s goal, so how well does Duvall fit the other criteria?
He continued to abuse Minor League pitchers at every stop on his way to a Major League debut for the Giants in 2014. His bat didn’t show up in the limited at-bats Giants gave him that season.
He returned to AAA to start the 2015 season and continued to mash. The Giants needed a pitcher at the deadline and Duvall became part of the price for acquiring Mike Leake from the Reds.
The Reds called Duvall up on 31 August and he finished the season with a .219/.306/.484/.790 line in 64 ABs. He broke camp with the Reds in 2016 and held an everyday spot in their lineup from that point forward.
Duvall has 2.096 years of major league service time and becomes arbitration eligible in 2019 with free agency a possibility in 2022. That qualifies as team control.