When talking about Braves injuries this past season, one that wasn’t brought up enough was the loss of Adam Duvall. Perhaps it’s because of his slow start to the year, but he was showing signs of turning things around, recording a 1.045 OPS in his final 15 games before sustaining a season-ending wrist injury, and we know how unstoppable Duvall can be over stretches when he’s hot.
More importantly, his replacements in left field weren’t carrying their weight. Robbie Grossman was alright after he was acquired by the Braves at the trade deadline, but Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario were dreadful. Rosario quite literally might have been the worst position player in baseball last season. Duvall is a gold glove defender, and his power bat at the end of the lineup adds a whole different element to the Braves offense. He was sorely missed in the postseason, and now he’s set to be a free agent.
I wrote about it earlier in the week — I don’t think Marcell Ozuna will be on the roster come Opening Day next year. The Braves will try everything in their power to trade him, but I think it’s more likely he’ll be released than anything. Regardless, I think we’ve seen the last of him in a Braves uniform, and the Braves can’t just rely on Eddie Rosario to be their left fielder. They have to sign somebody in free agency, and Duvall should be near the top of the list.
There are other candidates I love, namely Joc Pederson. However, I’m not sure how much interest he has in playing on the east coast. If he wanted to come back to Atlanta, I imagine the Braves would have exceeded the Giants one-year, $6 million offer. I think it’s possible Pederson is looking for a multi-year contract following his All-Star campaign as well, which the Braves might not want to hand out, and Atlanta could also be looking for a right-handed platoon option to pair with Rosario.
Duvall could be willing to take a one or two-year deal coming off a significant injury. He has done his best work in Atlanta, and I think it makes sense for both sides.
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