The Atlanta Braves added power to their lineup, acquiring outfielder Adam Duvall from the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati receives three players in the deal: right-handed pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 31, 2018
Atlanta Braves Acquire Adam Duvall from Cincinnati for Three Players
Braves Acquire Right-Handed Power Bat
Adam Duvall’s performance in 2018 won’t vastly improve an offense that ranks in the top of the National League in most categories. With that said, what Atlanta does lack on offense is right-handed power, especially on the bench. The Braves received surprising power from Charlie Culberson earlier in the season from a bench role. But otherwise Atlanta has trotted Preston Tucker and Ryan Flaherty to supply the bash off the bench. Duvall immediately becomes the best pinch-hit power in Atlanta.
In turn, the Braves have flexibility to start Duvall against left-handed pitching in a platoon with Ender Inciarte. Inciarte has been horrid against left-handers this season. However, his stellar Gold Glove defense has kept his place in the Atlanta lineup on a daily basis. Against left-handers, Atlanta can now start an above-average defender in Duvall in left field. This will move young star Ronald Acuña Jr. to center field, his natural position. In fact, this has already been confirmed by Anthopoulos.
Braves will start Duvall in left and shift Acuña to center vs. lefties. Inciarte was fine with move, said he just wants to make the playoffs.
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) July 31, 2018
Braves Continue to Add for Miminal Cost
Atlanta Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos made his intentions clear about how the franchise would treat the upcoming trade deadline: adding without subtracting. Atlanta’s first two deadline moves confirmed that statement. The Braves bolstered their weak bullpen with two solid pieces for the price of the rights to spend $500,000 in international cash. Anthopoulos furthered the statement in this deal.
The Braves opened three 40-man roster spots in the deal. One will undoubtedly go to Duvall. The other two are up for grabs and they’ll likely be filled by two consensus Top-100 pitching prospects. Left-hander Kolby Allard is already making his Major League debut Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins. The other spot could belong to right-hander Touki Toussaint. The 22-year old fireballer with a devestating curveball has impressed in his four starts since being promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett. Of course, Anthopoulos could also fill one of these spots with another trade acquisition as the deadline nears.
In theory, Atlanta replaced Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler and Preston Tucker—all playing for Triple-A Gwinnett at the time of the trade—for Adam Duvall and two consensus Top-100 prospects who will appear on the 25-man roster. Like Anthopoulos said, adding without subtracting.
Cincinnati Receives Three Players
The Cincinnati Reds receive three players in the deal, all with Major League experience. Matt Wisler is the most polished of the two pitchers. Wisler throws a fastball/slider combo with a slow curveball he can mix in as well. Lucas Sims was Atlanta’s first-round pick out of high school in the 2012 MLB Draft. In 68 professional innings, Sims has been a replacement-level pitcher. His career 10.1 BB% has been an issue against Major League hitters and he never caught his footing in the Braves rotation because of this. This is the main point for Wisler as well. Both pitchers possess the capabilities to gain meaningful innings for a Major League rotation. Though they never found their place in Atlanta, they should have every opportunity to prove themselves on a punished Cincinnati rotation.
Preston Tucker can provide flashes of Duvall-like power for the Reds. However, his ability to man the corner outfield is what distinguishes him from Duvall. Tucker caught fire during April when the Braves used him as the everyday left fielder as Atlanta kept Acuña in Triple-A Gwinnett for service time reasons. Once Acuña made the leap to the majors, Tucker was relegated, first to the bench, then to Gwinnett. Cincinnati President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams has stated that Tucker will join Cincinnati on Tuesday. Wisler and Sims will likely head to Triple-A Louisville.
Part of move was clearing 40-man jam. Anthopoulos spoke well of Tucker, Wisler, Sims. Tucker will join Reds’ major league team, per CIN’s Dick Williams, and pitchers probably in Triple-A.
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) July 31, 2018
The Braves made out well in this trade. Atlanta added a much needed right-handed power bat that can also play any outfield corner. They also freed two 40-man roster spots for two top pitching prospects or a potential trade acquisition. Cincinnati added two possible starters with Major League experience and a left-handed power bat that will join the club immediately.
Embed from Getty Images