Blue Jays: Toronto has interest in Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall

Brendan Panikkar
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Adam Duvall
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Adam Duvall /

The Winter Meetings have been full of tweets from insiders that all read “the Blue Jays have expressed interest in (insert player here).” One of the latest rumours says the Toronto Blue Jays have interest in Adam Duvall of the Cincinnati Reds, according to Tom Verducci.

While Adam Duvall is by no means a superstar, he is someone who certainly could be a nice addition to a corner outfield spot with the 2018 Blue Jays. The Blue Jays currently have Kevin Pillar and Steve Pearce slated for the outfield in 2018. They do have a surplus of outfielders as well and some of them could find their way onto the Opening Day 25 man roster.

Behind Pillar and Pearce, the Blue Jays have Ezequiel Carrera, Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith Jr., Roemon Fields, Harold Ramirez, and Ian Parmley. Out of all of those names, Hernandez and Alford are the likeliest for an everyday spot with Ezequiel Carrera as the 4th outfielder. However, it’s unlikely the Blue Jays want Steve Pearce as the everyday guy in the outfield. Regardless, they definitely need to add someone to the outfield competition for 2018.

It seems unlikely they will make big free agent deals beyond 4+ years for guys on the wrong side of 30 like Lorenzo Cain or Jay Bruce, but you never know. It also seems unlikely they would win any bidding war for Marcell Ozuna (despite reports they’re eyeing him) or Christian Yelich. In my mind, the most realistic possibility seems like Carlos Gonzalez on a 1 year, “prove it” deal.

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If it’s not any of those guys above, one of the rumours I quite like is that the Blue Jays have some interest in Adam Duvall. Duvall is under control of the Reds until 2021, so that alone can leverage a good return, but also makes the Blue Jays interested in the long run to fill an outfield spot. Duvall is 29 years old so his club control would bring him to his age 33 season, which would mean the Blue Jays get Duvall for the prime of his career.

Duvall is by no means a superstar, but he would be a nice bat for 5th or 6th in the order and playing a corner outfield spot with his decent defense. He hit 33 home runs with 103 RBI and was a .241/.297/.498 hitter with a wRC+ 105 in 2016, and was also the Reds’ All-Star that season. In 2017, Duvall hit 31 home runs with 99 RBI and was a .249/.301/.480 hitter with a 98 wRC+. He does strike out quite a bit and walks very little though, which are some of his biggest flaws as a hitter.

Duvall finally arrived in the MLB in 2015 and does seem to be quite a late bloomer who may be slowly putting it all together. If the Reds are looking to shop him, I think he could be a good fit for the Blue Jays due to his control, cheap cost, and their need for an outfield bat. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of prospect capital price tag would be required to pry him away.

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There are better options on the free agent market and potential trade targets, but Adam Duvall wouldn’t be such a bad consolation prize. He does have potential to continue to develop into an even better hitter. Combine that with his already developed power, and the Blue Jays could have a nice bat for a few years to come.