Braves News: Braves bid farewell to Adam Duvall
By Chase Owens
Free agent Adam Duvall has signed a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox according to multiple reports. This deal will bring an end to Duvall’s second tenure with the Atlanta Braves spanning parts of the last three seasons.
Although it is sad to see Duvall go, it is nice to see him rewarded with a nice one-year deal that should come with a fair amount of playing time in Boston. The end of Duvall’s tenure with the Atlanta Braves didn’t go how everyone wanted, as he struggled a bit at the plate before missing the rest of the 2022 season due to a wrist injury.
When you circle back to Duvall’s start with the Braves, you may remember things got off to a pretty rocky start. It was the trade deadline of 2018 where Duvall was acquired in exchange for Preston Tucker, Lucas Sims, and Matt Wisler.
Duvall had an abysmal 2018 with the Braves once he was acquired. He went 7-53 with just one extra-base hit, and was left off the postseason roster. Entering 2019 had to be some real soul searching time as Duvall would start the season with AAA Gwinnett. To his credit though, Duvall didn’t allow time in the minors to affect his confidence. In just over one hundred games in AAA, Duvall would hit 32 homers and was slugging over .600. Then when outfielder Nick Markakis went down with a fractured wrist in July of 2019, the Braves recalled Duvall from Gwinnett.
Duvall made an immediate impact once he was back up with the big league club, hitting five home runs in the first six games following his promotion. Duvall looked to closer to his former all-star form, rather than the slump version Braves fans were greeted with in 2018. Once the 2019 postseason came around we got a little foreshadowing of the postseason moments Duvall could provide.
Once we entered the 2020 season Duvall had earned his was back onto the Braves roster. He then posted a .237/.301/.532 slash line and hit 16 homers in the shortened COVID 60-game season. Unfortunately, Duvall’s season ended when he strained his left oblique against the Dodgers in the NLCS.
The following offseason brought a controversial decision in which the Braves decided to non-tender Duvall a contract for the 2021 season making him a free agent.
Duvall then would sign with NL East rival the Miami Marlins on a one-year deal, that immediately brought some objection from Braves fans. Many began wondering why they decided to let the outfield slugger go.
Duvall would spend the first half of 2021 playing everyday for the Marlins and showcasing why the people that wanted him back in a Braves uniform they were right. It wasn’t just the production Duvall gave the Marlins, but it was also the fact that it came at the Braves expense. Duvall was just destroying his former team every opportunity he got, and it left so many of us feeling conflicted.
Once the 2021 trade deadline rolled around, the Braves found themselves in desperate need of outfield help. The injury to star player Ronald Acuña Jr. left the outfield production in shambles. Thus set the stage for Alex Anthopoulos and the infamous 2021 trade deadline acquisitions. Duvall was once again acquired by AA on July 30th, 2021 in exchange for catcher Alex Jackson.
Duvall was apart of a revamped outfield and helped spark a magical second half run for the Braves. In his 55 games with the Braves in 2021, Duvall put up a OPS+ of 106 and provided gold-glove winning defense that saw him end the regular season with his highest fWAR (2.7) in his career.
The World Series Run
One of the best things about the 2021 postseason for the Braves was the success from each outfielder Anthopoulos had acquired. Adam Duvall was no exception to this as he made plays throughout the entire playoff run for the Braves.
Once the Braves punched their ticket to the fall classic, Duvall helped set the tone in game one when he homered off Framber Valdez to help secure an important game one victory. As the World Series progressed Duvall once again provided one of the most memorable moments of that postseason, when he hit a first-inning grand slam off of Valdez again. Had the Braves won that game and clinched the World Series that Halloween night, Duvall may have been the guy who was named World Series MVP. However, I’m sure every Braves fan will take the game six legacy game from Max Fried and home run Jorge Soler sent into orbit as well.
After the World Series victory and championship parade it was pretty easy for the Braves not to make the same mistake again and bring Duvall back for the 2022 season. Unfortunately, Adam never really got going in 2022 in his 86 games with Atlanta before the previously mentioned season-ending wrist injury.
In the end I’m sure Braves fans will have nothing but love for Adam Duvall as he continues his big league career. He was the ultimate professional and was a pleasure to have in the clubhouse according to many in the Braves family. He left us with some very memorable postseason moments and slugged his way into the hearts of Braves fans everywhere. Fenway seems to be a match made in heaven for Duvall and I hope he sends plenty of baseballs over the green monster.
The team will miss you. Blooper will miss you. The community will miss you. And the fans will miss you. Thank you for everything. Forever a champion.
Farewell, Adam Duvall.