Braves Acquire Adam Duvall

The Braves have picked up slugger Adam Duvall in a trade with the Marlins, as originally reported by Craig Mish of The Miami Herald (Twitter links).  Catcher Alex Jackson is heading to the Marlins.

It is the second outfield trade in a matter of minutes for the Braves, who also just acquired Eddie Rosario from the Indians.  Since Rosario is still on the injured list recovering from a right abdominal strain, Duvall will now immediately step into an outfield picture that has been entirely remade in the last few weeks, including the Braves’ trade with the Cubs for Joc Pederson.

Duvall is a known quantity in Atlanta, and was initially acquired by the team exactly three years ago to the day as part of another deadline deal with the Reds.  Duvall didn’t perform well down the stretch in 2018, but he then hit .248/.307/.545 with 26 home runs over 339 plate appearances for the team during the 2019-20 seasons.

The Braves non-tendered Duvall last winter rather than pay him a $4MM in projected arbitration salary, opening the door for Duvall to sign a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $5MM in guaranteed money.  Duvall is still owed the remainder of his $2MM salary for this season, and there is a $7MM mutual option on his services for 2022 that can be bought out for $3MM.

The 2021 season has seen Duvall continue his power-centric performance, hitting 22 homers and slugging .478 over 339 PA for Miami, though with only a .229 batting average and .277 OBP.  The right-handed hitting Duvall has actually performed better against righties than lefties this season, but he has pretty even splits over his career, so the Braves will likely look to swing some of platoon system between Duvall and the left-handed hitting Pederson and Rosario.

Once Rosario is healthy, the Braves can juggle between the three veterans in the corner outfield, and Duvall could even be an option in center field, as he has held his own over 53 innings up the middle for the Marlins this year.  That said, Duvall is a much more solid corner outfielder, if the Braves looked to prioritize their overall defense on the grass.  Between the trio of new acquisitions and other in-house options like Guillermo Heredia, Abraham Almonte, or Cristian Pache, Atlanta has managed to fortify an outfield that lost Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna.

Jackson has only a .293 OPS over 50 career Major League plate appearances, but the 25-year-old has been consistently productive at the Triple-A level, with a .236/.320/.544 slash line and 42 home runs over 593 PA at Triple-A Gwinnett.  Selected sixth overall by the Mariners in the 2014 draft, Jackson hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity at the big league level, but might find more chances for a Marlins team that is thin at catcher.  Jorge Alfaro hasn’t hit well over the last two seasons, calling into question his status as the Marlins’ catcher of the future.