Over the weekend, the news broke that Adam Duvall will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury. It’s yet another injury to an outfield that has weathered a lot over the past two seasons, and the Braves must now replace Duvall before the trade deadline.
The #Braves today recalled INF Mike Ford to Atlanta and placed OF Adam Duvall on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left wrist.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 24, 2022
With the farm system suffering, Atlanta may not have the ammunition to get into a bidding war for a top-flight outfielder like Ian Happ or Andrew Benintendi. Thankfully, if there’s anything we learned from the trade deadline acquisitions last season, it’s that there are always high-value options available that won’t cost an arm and a leg in terms of prospects. Here are some buy-low candidates to fill the Duvall-sized hole in this Braves roster.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are an interesting team to watch at the deadline. With a glut of young prospects ready, there are some veterans on the roster that could be dealt. One such option is Jordan Luplow. The paltry slash line of .181/.276/.436 might scare people off, but there’s plenty to like about the 28-year-old.
Luplow is in a similar spot to when the Braves acquired Duvall in 2018. He is young, under team control for a few years, and has shown flashes of brilliance. Although his stats this year are underwhelming, the underlying metrics tell a much more promising story. Luplow has an unsightly .172 BABIP despite having one of the highest hard-hit percentages of his career.
Jordan Luplow inside-the-park home run! pic.twitter.com/GXsPb2gKFM
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 22, 2022
He is an intriguing candidate that fills a need for the Braves. Plus, Anthopoulos could plug some other gaps while on the phone with Mike Hazen. Merrill Kelly is a starter I’ve been mentioning for a while; he’s having a strong season and is certainly performing better than Ian Anderson. Additionally, Ian Kennedy is a veteran relief arm who’s a free agent at the end of the season. If Alex Anthopoulos wants to add either of these guys, it may take a higher-ranking prospect like Jesse Franklin to get the deal done. This trade seems like a fair deal.
Trey Mancini is a player any team in the league would love to have. On the field, he’s a versatile piece that can play multiple positions and be a legitimate threat with the bat. Off the field, he’s an upstanding, admirable guy that has battled cancer and inspired millions. However, Mancini may not fit into the Orioles future plans. Baltimore is having an unexpectedly good season, but the 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end, meaning they could look to deal him while they can still get a return.
Solo shot from Trey Mancini! pic.twitter.com/dIXQ5nBhWv
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 15, 2022
This year, Mancini has an OPS+ sitting at an above-average 113 and a respectable .268/.345/.404 slash line. Compared to his previous career numbers, his nine homers this season is a low water mark too.
Mancini would be an exceptional player to attain. Just like the Diamondbacks, the Orioles have some desirable pitchers on-roster as well. One interesting name is former National Austin Voth, who could be a reliable bullpen arm or even be used in an opener role. Depending on if the Braves want an extra player, Freddy Tarnok might be the prospect included in this type of trade.
The loss of Duvall stings. But whether it’s Happ, Benintendi, Luplow, Mancini, or others, AA has proven his prowess as a general manager. I trust that the Braves will be able to replace Duvall without many issues.