May the Atlanta Braves deadline deals commence.
Late Monday night, about 16 hours before MLB’s trade deadline, Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos pulled off a deal to acquire slugging Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall.
The initial takeaway from this trade is that it beefs up Atlanta’s roster with some home-run ability. Duvall has clubbed 78 homers in the last 2.5 seasons with the Reds.
Atlanta has especially struggled this year with power from the right side of the plate, with most of the team’s home runs coming from the left side.
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman suggests that Duvall could play in a part-time platoon role in left field.
"Anthopoulos will address the trade shortly. But in exchange for very little, the Braves gained an above-average outfielder who provides the chance for the to platoon Inciarte by having Acuna move to CF vs. LHPs"
The Braves would be well-suited to consider Duvall in a platoon versus left-handed pitchers. Per Fangraphs, his season splits show a .769 OPS when facing lefties, compared to a .656 OPS against right-handers.
The acquisition of Duvall aids the Braves in their current race with the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East, and it came at a fairly insignificant cost.
Both Matt Wisler and Lucas Sims were either blocked at the major-league level or passed in the pecking order by the host of young, emerging prospect arms in the Atlanta farm system.
Preston Tucker provided a bit of pop to Atlanta’s bench, but nothing to the extent of what the right-handed Duvall is capable of doing.
One other positive from the trade for Atlanta is Duvall’s contract; he is under team control through the 2021 season, providing Atlanta with a power-hitting outfield piece for the years to come.
For the Reds, Wisler and Sims are solid change-of-scenery candidates, as it appeared though they were never going to make an impact in Atlanta in 2018 or the future.
But overall, this appears to be a pretty shrewd move by Anthopoulos. The Atlanta Braves, in the thick of a playoff hunt, added much-needed power to its roster and did so without dealing from its top prospects.
What else does Anthopoulos have in store, if anything? Tuesday will tell.