In a trade announced at 10:50 p.m. Monday night, the Cincinnati Reds will be sending former All-Star Adam Duvall to the Atlanta Braves. In return, the Reds will receive RHP Lucas Sims, RHP Matt Wisler and OF Preston Tucker.
Adam Duvall adds outfield depth for Braves
In 2018, the Atlanta Braves have two qualified outfielders on the 25-man roster (Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte). Charlie Culberson has seen time in the outfield but has primarily been playing middle infield. Ronald Acuna is the starting left fielder but was on the disabled list for most of June.
The addition of Adam Duvall will add necessary depth in the Atlanta outfield for 2018, but Duvall should be more than a season lease. The 29-year-old will not enter free agency until 2022, and Nick Markakis is in the final year of his contract at 34 years old. It is expected that Duvall starts against left-handed pitchers for the Braves.
With a crowded outfield in Cincinnati, Duvall has not been an everyday starter for the Reds. His numbers have been disappointing in 2018. Duvall is sitting on a slash line of .205/.286/.399, a 27.0% strikeout percentage, 82 wRC+ and 83 OPS+. Though, the power is there with 15 home runs. Perhaps a change of scenery could help Duvall get back into the groove of things in time for a postseason run.
Reds receive solid haul in return
Cincinnati goes into this trade deadline with a serious need for pitching. Of the three players the Reds got in return for Adam Duvall, two of them are right-handed pitchers.
RHP Lucas Sims has been up and down between AAA and the Majors in 2018. Sims has six appearances out of the bullpen in Atlanta but started 14 games in the minors. In 73.0 innings pitched in AAA, Sims has acquired an impressive 2.84 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 10.23 K/9 innings and 0.74 HR/9 innings. Sims is 24 years old and still in pre-arbitration.
Matt Wisler is a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher from Bryan, Ohio. Atlanta optioned Wisler to AAA on July 2 of this year. In his 13 minor league starts, Wisler has a 3.25 FIP with a 1.329 WHIP and just 1.80 walks per nine innings. Wisler’s seven appearances and three starts for the Braves went less smoothly with a 5.08 FIP in 26.2 innings. Wisler will become eligible for arbitration in 2019.
Outfielder Preston Tucker was optioned down to the minors for Atlanta this past Saturday. Tucker has played in 62 Major League games this season, slashing .256/307/.444. With an OPS+ of 105 and wRC+ of 101, Tucker is a promising player that has yet to enter arbitration.
Reds come out smiling
All in all, this is a decent trade at first glance for the Cincinnati Reds. Two young pitchers in Sims and Wisler could become exciting pieces of the future of this Reds pitching staff, and Preston Tucker has shown the ability to compete at the Major League level. In exchange, Cincinnati gives up a struggling former All-Star in Adam Duvall, who will still add needed depth to the Braves’ outfield.