The Atlanta Braves dealt three former top 20 prospects to the Cincinnati Reds for Adam Duvall. The trade happened late Monday night and is expected to add some power to the Braves an outfield platoon.
The reviews of the trade thus far are mixed. The Braves did give up young pieces who were once ranked amongst the best in their systems, as well as two arms for a sometimes one-dimensional player in Duvall. Duvall comes to the Braves known as a big-time slugger and Gold Glove finalist. However, he is hitting .194 with less doubles and home runs away from Great American Ball Park, one of the most power-friendly parks in the league, and has also led the National League in errors for his position (left field) the past two seasons.
So, what did the Reds get?
Sims is the 24-year-old right-hander that is one of the last of the really old regime left in the system. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Sims was seemingly headed for stardom, earning Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year in just his second season. A bus accident and some set backs derailed Sims for a bit, and he’s spent the last few seasons searching for a role.
He has a nice arsenal and his curve, a big dropping upper-70s offering, is probably his best pitch. Sims just couldn’t carve out a role in the big leagues, going 3-6 with a 5.96 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 20 appearances split between the bullpen and rotation. He should get a fresh chance in Cincinnati and jump right into the Reds rotation.
The 25-year-old righty was amongst the first gets of the John Hart regime, coming to the Braves in 2015 as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal. He was selected by the Padres in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He worked his way up the Padres prospect rankings and was seen as the centerpiece of the trade.
As early as 2015 in my first viewing of Wisler, I felt that his biggest flaw wasn’t in his modest stuff, but the fact that he was very hittable. He has a nice sinking fastball, a slider, curve and change that he commands well, but in his career as a big leaguer, he hasn’t been able to avoid the bats, striking out just 6.38-per-nine and being hit at .275 career batting average against. Wisler dazzled in his big league debut, but that was where it ended as he’s been riddled by inconsistencies since. He was struggling at Gwinnett this season to a 4.37 ERA (albeit a bit unfair as seen in his 3.25 FIP), 1.33 WHIP, and .290 BAA. He’s been up and down in seven uninspiring appearances with the Braves. He should get a shot on the Reds staff.
Tucker is now 28 years old. The left-handed left fielder seems to do pretty well when he gets the chance to play full time, but doesn’t necessarily exhibit the tools to warrant that playing time, usually finding himself in a platoon. He filled in admirably as the world awaited the arrival of Ronald Acuña, Jr., but slipped back to average when back in a bench role.
Tucker was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Florida. He worked his way up the ladder pretty quickly. Heading into 2015, our own John Sickels had him ranked the 19th-best prospect in the system and he made his rookie debut slashing .243/.297/.437 with 19 doubles and 13 home runs.
That same 2015 season, Preston’s brother Kyle was drafted in the first round and Preston seemed to quickly become an afterthought. It seemed his time was coming in a trade and this past offseason it finally happened, shipped to Atlanta for the ever-popular PTBNL. He had a big April with some memorable home runs and go-ahead RBI, but as soon as Acuña got the call, he was up and down on the Gwinnett express. He should have more opportunity with the Reds.
Seems like a good trade for both sides. The Reds got some pieces that can be of use immediately. With a solid, young core, the Reds bolstered some rotation and outfield depth with big-league ready and still youthful talent. The Braves get a question mark, as Duvall is amid a nightmarish season. That said, with Kolby Allard’s debut Tuesday and rumors aswirl that Touki Toussaint’s time in the bullpen is near, the move gets rid of three much needed 40-man roster spots. Sims, Wisler and Tucker weren’t likely the pieces that were going to get the Braves to the Wild Card, nor were they the pieces that could get them the remaining pieces on the free agency market that can. It’s too early to decide, but it seems that this trade served it’s purpose for both sides involved.