The Braves made a pair of trades on Friday afternoon to boost their outfield, reacquiring old friend Adam Duvall from the Marlins for catcher Alex Jackson while acquiring Eddie Rosario from the Indians for Pablo Sandoval:
Duvall, 32, returns to Atlanta, where he thrived in a lefty-mashing role for the last two-plus seasons. He’s been solid with Miami this year but has actually had reverse splits, posting a .249/.294/.511 slash line against righties compared to .176/.231/.388 against lefties. He’s still shown impressive power, hitting 22 homers, and that power plus his strong defense should make him a solid addition for the Braves. With fellow midseason acquisition Joc Pederson — a longtime platoon player who has started mainly against righties — also on the roster, it should be interesting if the Braves platoon the two veterans or make them the everyday corner outfielders and reduce switch-hitter Abraham Almonte to more of a backup role.
Rosario, 29, has been on the injured list with an abdominal strain since July 1 and was expected to begin swinging a bat again within the next week, so he’ll likely make his way into the Braves’ lineup at some point in August. After six very good seasons with the Twins, he’s struggled at the plate this year, hitting .254/.296/.389 with seven homers in 306 plate appearances. He hasn’t been particularly good from either side of the plate, but the Braves will hope he can rediscover his stroke at the plate when he returns from the IL.
Jackson, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft, didn’t seem to have much of a future in the Braves organization with William Contreras and Shea Langeliers looking like Atlanta’s catchers of the future and Stephen Vogt and Kevan Smith currently holding down the major league jobs with Travis d’Arnaud on the injured list. He hit .070/.200/.093 over 50 plate appearances spanning three seasons for the Braves.
Sandoval got off to a stellar start as a pinch-hitter this season but had significantly cooled off recently and had just one hit since the beginning of June. He hadn’t started a game in the field all season, only starting at DH when the Braves played at American League parks. It seems likely that he’ll be designated for assignment by Cleveland, rather than taking up a bench spot on a non-competitive Braves team.