The normally-very-quiet Alex Anthopoulos Front Office let a leak slip out to Ken Rosenthal this weekend. Is this a message being sent to the marketplace?
The Atlanta Braves are indeed very tight-lipped about the manner in which they conduct business. Rumors are few and information is more circumspect than anything we ever saw with either Frank Wren or John Coppolella.
That’s why this quote from Ken Rosenthal in TheAthletic (subscription required) is noteworthy.
Information from major-league sources:
The Braves’ remaining need is an outfielder, but the team might end up turning to Adam Duvall in left field if the market for a desirable free agent or trade candidate plummets and the team chooses to redirect its money or prospect capital to that player.
Naturally we’re gonna dive into this like it’s a newly-found Dead Sea Scroll, for this seems to have a lot more embedded information than just hints about Adam Duvall.
First Things First
This statement does not mean that the Braves are intending to go to Duvall as a 1st choice for a corner outfield spot. It does mean that the team isn’t opposed to using him there if something else happens that’s of particular interest to them for a different position.
Duvall disappointed in 2018 – no doubt – but you could make an argument that he was the victim of change: new city, new team, a contending team (thus new pressures), and a new part time role.
As a result, there’s more than a fair chance that he would be a bounce-back candidate, particularly if he’s given a shot to play everyday.
That said, the risk is still fairly high that his stagnant bat will never come back around. In such circumstances, the Braves could always continue to monitor the markets – even into Spring Training and the regular season – in the event that a change is warranted.
In the worst-case scenario, though, Duvall would at least have his glove to fall back on, which would provide reasonable value… though maybe not quite enough to stay in the lineup on an on-going basis.
But again – that’s not Plan A.