After the Braves filled many of their unchecked boxes with the signing of Marcell Ozuna at the end of last week, it seemed as if there may be a decent chance the Braves could “run it back” by signing a few more former Braves to gain depth for their outfield and bullpen. The most logical names to target were Adam Duvall and Mark Melancon. The idea certainly had merit with how successful that duo had been during their time in Atlanta over the past few years.
However, that idea seems to be much less likely now. Though a reunion with Duvall always appeared to be a decent reality to occur, it now seems as if that will no longer be the case.
The Miami Marlins are extremely close to an agreement with Free Agent Outfielder Adam Duvall per sources.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 9, 2021
It has been rumored for a time now that the Marlins were interested in outfielders, and that Duvall was a player of interest. Now, it seems as if the Marlins have reeled in a needed addition to their outfield and lineup. Duvall triple slashed .237/.301/.532 with 16 home runs for the Braves last year as he established himself as a lineup regular. Beyond his contributions at the plate, Duvall was a fine defensive option in the outfield corners.
For the same reasons that it would have made sense for the Braves to bring him back, Duvall is a very logical signing for Miami’s outfield. Last season, Miami’s outfielders were 27th in both SLG% and fWAR among MLB outfield groups. Duvall will certainly add a veteran presence with production and power to the Miami lineup while also theoretically not bleeding runs in an outfield corner to support Miami’s pitching staff.
Duvall was acquired by the Braves at the 2018 trade deadline, but his future was in question in Atlanta after a terrible end to that season. However, the Braves stuck with Duvall, and over 339 PAs since the beginning of 2019, he provided a .853 OPS, .353 wOBA, and 117 wRC+. While his 2020 season unfortunately ended with an injury in the playoffs, Duvall certainly made some noise during his time in Atlanta. Beyond his production, he clearly was a valuable part of the locker room and culture that has been so valuable to the Braves over the past few years.
In the end, Duvall’s departure mainly centers on the opportunity for playing time. With the universal DH now less likely for 2021, the Braves starting outfield appears to be set with Cristian Pache, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Ozuna. Though the Braves will likely find a suitable option for depth in their outfield in time, replacing Duvall’s value on and off the field will be a significant task. Though he is headed to a division rival, he has clearly been a valuable and appreciated piece of the Braves success over the past few years.
UPDATED 4:17 PM EST 2/9/2021
Adam Duvall has an MLB deal with Marlins. One year. Believed to be for about $4.5M.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 9, 2021
Jon Heyman is now reporting the Marlins have indeed signed Duvall to a major league deal for one year, believed to be around $4.5M.