The Braves decided to part ways with Adam Duvall, and an NL East rival has now surfaced as a prominent suitor.
Adam Duvall hit 16 home runs in 57 games for the Atlanta Braves last season, but the team decided to non-tender him rather than enter arbitration or agree to a deal. According to Crag Mish of SportsGrid, the Miami Marlins are among “lots of teams” interested in the free agent outfielder.
Duvall only played 41 games for the Braves in 2019, with 10 home runs in 130 plate appearances. So he’s had two straight small samples. But as Mish noted, the only two hitters available on the open market with a higher slugging percentage than his over the last two seasons (.545) are Nelson Cruz and George Springer.
The Marlins have been rumored to be in the market for corner outfield help, right field in particular, with initial indications left-handed hitters were the ideal priority. But parallel reported interest in Yasiel Puig on Monday shows there’s no such left-handed tilt in Miami’s pursuit of outfielders now.
How might Adam Duvall fit in Miami?
In nine games (36 plate appearances) against the Marlins last year, Duvall had a .313/.389/.813 slash-line with five home runs and 12 RBI. So they had an up close look at his power, with roughly one-third of his home run and RBI for the season (16 and 33 respectively) coming against them.
Duvall made 31 starts in left field for the Braves last season, and 16 starts in right. He has played a little first base in his career, but not much and not over the last two seasons at all. But some defensive position utility is not a bad thing, even if it’s just across the diamond on the grass.
Wherever Duvall lands will be signed based on a full-season offensive projection for 2021. He has two 30-homer seasons on his resume, 2016 (33) and 2017 (31) with the Cincinnati Reds, so if given the chance, doubling his 2020 home run total isn’t out of the question.