The Reds reuniting with Adam Duvall may not only be welcome, but necessary

Former Reds and current Braves center fielder Adam Duvall (14) hits a grand slam.
Former Reds and current Braves center fielder Adam Duvall (14) hits a grand slam. / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall pounded a grand slam on the biggest stage during Game 5 of the World Series. Unfortunately, for the Atlanta Braves, the 4-0 lead quickly disappeared.

Still, seeing Duvall have success during the 2021 season and the playoffs has likely rekindled Reds Country's desire to see the Kentucky native back in Cincinnati.

The Reds should target Adam Duvall in free agency.

While some fans may think the idea of Duvall returning to the Queen City is foolish, it may be necessary should Nick Castellanos sign elsewhere this offseason.

Reds fans will find out within the next week whether or not Castellanos will opt out of his current deal and enter free agency.

By all accounts, Castellanos will forgo the remaining two year and $34M left on his deal. I find it very hard to believe that Cincinnati will meet his contract demands, meaning the Reds will have a void in right field.

Sure, Tyler Naquin could supplant Nick Castellanos in right field. Naquin is a suitable replacement, albeit does not possess the same skillset as Castellanos.

I'm not suggesting that Adam Duvall can replace Castellanos' production either, but the Reds certainly cannot count on the trio of Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, and Shogo Akiyama to fill the void left should Castellanos sign elsewhere.

The Reds traded Adam Duvall in 2018.

Adam Duvall enjoyed some memorable seasons in Cincinnati. After his All-Star season in 2016, however, Duvall had back to back years of sub-par performance.

The right-handed slugger was dealt to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, and Preston Tucker. Sims is the only player from that trade remaining on the Reds roster.

In 2016, Duvall slashed .241/.297/.498. The following two seasons saw the Louisville, Kentucky native hit .228/.291/.435. Prior to the trade in 2018, Duvall posted a slash line of just .205/.286/.365 and had become a rotational outfielder.

Duvall spent a good chunk of his first years in the Atlanta organization at Triple-A Gwinnett and returned to the bigs in 2019 to hit .267/.315/.567 in 41 games.

Duvall posted an OPS of .833 in 2020 and parlayed that into what amounted to a one-year/$5M contract. Technically, the contract offers a $7M mutual option with a $3M buyout.

With the Braves looking to lockup Freddie Freeman this offseason, they may need all the payroll space they can get. I wouldn't be shocked to see Duvall, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson all hit the free agent market this winter.

While all four outfielders may be intriguing to the Reds, Pederson and Rosario both represent left-handed bats; something Cincinnati does not need. Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Tyler Naquin, and Jesse Winker offer enough power from the left side.

And that's what you're getting with Adam Duvall; a power-hitting outfielder. Yes, there's a lot of swing-and-miss in his bat, but when he connects, the ball is going to travel a long way.

Duvall has produced a wRC+ above 100 the past three seasons. If the Cincinnati Reds are looking for an adequate replacement for Nick Castellanos in right field, Adam Duvall is it.

Next. Way-too-early Reds 2022 roster prediction. dark

Not only would the Butler High School product bring some pop, but Duvall's defense is terrific. As we've seen during the postseason, Duvall can also play center field. Given Nick Senzel's questionable health, that's an added bonus.