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This past week, the Atlanta Braves opted not to extend a contract to left fielder, Adam Duvall. Duvall was an All-Star & homerun derby participant with the Cincinnati Reds. The first Louisville alumnus to earn an All-Star selection in their history.
Duvall was acquired by the Braves in a trade with Cincinnati for Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, & Preston Tucker in July of 2018. Duvall struggled in his first season with the Braves, but would flourish into one of the best batting left fielders in the National League.
This past season, a 60-game campaign, Duvall slashed .237/.301/.532 with 34 runs, 16 homeruns, & 33 RBI’s.
Duvall being nontendered effectively makes him a free agent, but the Braves may seek to bring him back, depending on his price tag.
Possible replacements for Duvall are Michael Brantley, George Springer, Kyle Schwarber, & Drew Waters.
Waters seems like the least possible Opening Day replacement. He’s currently a Braves minor leaguer and if he was MLB-ready, he would’ve likely seen time at baseball’s highest a level at some point last season.
My wishlist goes as follows, in order:
1. George Springer
2. Kyle Schwarber
3. Michael Brantley
Springer is the clear cut number one choice, as he’s excellent at the plate & defensively; so the implementation of the NL designated hitter would be a moot point as far as the decision to bring Springer in.
If the National League does implement the DH next season, Schwarber becomes even more appealing to Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Brantley is a Jack of all trades but a master of none. He wouldn’t really be an upgrade over Duvall, but he wouldn’t be much of a downgrade, except in the power department.
Best case scenario: the National League permanently implements the designated hitter. And the Braves bring back Duvall & sign George Springer.