MLB trade deadline 2021: Braves revamp outfield with deals for Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall

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The Atlanta Braves entered Friday with a 51-52 record on the season, putting them four games back in the National League East and eight back in the wild card hunt. Despite already acquiring Joc Pederson this month as a means of trying to fill the Ronald Acuña Jr. void, Atlanta swung a pair of deals ahead of the trade deadline to improve their outfield depth chart: first adding the injured Eddie Rosario in a swap with Cleveland that will send reserve Pablo Sandoval to the midwest, then reacquiring Adam Duvall from the Miami Marlins in for catcher Alex Jackson.

Rosario, 29 and an impending free agent, is in the midst of a career-worst season. He’ll join the Braves having hit .254/.296/.389 (84 OPS+) in 78 contests with the future Guardians. Both Rosario’s average and max exit velocities are higher this season than they were last, when he posted a 117 OPS+, which may give the Braves optimism he can provide some power down the stretch. He’s expected to miss several more weeks with an abdominal injury.

Duvall, 32, had previously played with Atlanta from 2018-20. With the Marlins, he batted .229/.277/.478 (102 OPS+) with 22 home runs in 90 games. Unlike Rosario, Duvall’s contract includes a club option for next season valued at $3.25 million. Considering that the Braves non-tendered him last winter, it seems unlikely they’d exercise that option.

As for the players the Braves traded on Friday, Sandoval is the more famous name but Jackson has more future value. The No. 6 pick in the 2014 draft, he has above-average pop and enough defensive chops to envision him serving as a backup catcher. Of course, Jackson is nearing his 26th birthday and he hasn’t yet played in 20 big-league games, so you can understand why the Braves determined him to be expendable. 

In addition to Pederson, Rosario, and Duvall, the Braves have also added catcher Stephen Vogt this month.

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