Of course the first thing I did when I saw the Cincinnati Reds had made a trade with the Braves was look up where the players they acquired rank on Atlanta’s prospect lists for 2018.
None were to be found there, but there is good reason for that.
They’ve all had more than a cup of coffee in the majors already so they are no longer eligible.
These guys might not have high-end potential, but at least the Reds know to a certain extent what they are getting.
Since Adam Duvall has basically been the Reds’ fourth-best outfielder this season (depending on how you evaluate Billy Hamilton all around), turns 30 in September and is due a big raise next season, that’s a pretty good return.
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Lucas Sims is the so-called centerpiece of the deal, and it’s easy to see why.
He’s a first round-draft pick who was once rated Atlanta’s No. 1 prospect. He’s not translated that to the majors yet, but he was having a good season at Triple-A.
He would appear to be a young, talented pitcher who doesn't need more seasoning but hasn’t proven he can do it at the highest level, so he should fit in fine with the Reds.
(I’ve been thinking for about four years if they throw enough arms at their rotation they’re bound to find five guys eventually, so why turn back now?)
The other two — pitcher Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker — are replacement-level major leaguers, which is fine but the Reds have plenty of those already.
As we’ve discussed, this team has depth but it needs some studs.
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Ultimately, Duvall exceeded expectations after being acquired for Mike Leake three years ago.
He looked like a Quadruple-A player at that point, but ended up being more than that.
The Louisville, Ky., native gave the Reds an All-Star season, hit 84 home runs and played a strong left field for three years before turning into another potential prospect.
» LOOKING BACK: Duvall an all-star in first full season with Reds
Tough to beat for an 11th-round pick, huh?
(They also still have pitcher Keury Mella from the Leake trade.)
The Reds didn’t exactly sell high on Duvall since he is having his worst major-league season, but they were going to have a crowded outfield next year when Jesse Winker returns.
(Especially if they move Scooter Gennett out there, which they should do.)
And that’s without taking into account when Jose Siri or Taylor Trammell are ready.
So it was good to get something of value for Duvall — especially if they invest the money they would have had to pay him next year into something else (like part of the salary for Gennett or a veteran starting pitcher).
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