DETROIT -- The Reds traded Adam Duvall to the Braves on Monday night for right-handed pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.Tucker will join the Reds on Tuesday before they open a two-game series vs. the Tigers at Comerica Park. It has yet to be determined in
DETROIT -- The Reds traded Adam Duvall to the Braves on Monday night for right-handed pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.
Tucker will join the Reds on Tuesday before they open a two-game series vs. the Tigers at Comerica Park. It has yet to be determined in the short term whether Sims or Wisler will pitch in the big leagues or Triple-A.
Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said that Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos first approached him about Duvall when their teams played in late June at Atlanta.
"So we had it on our board for a while as a team that was interested in him," Williams said. "The team has been playing very well. We're pleased with the performance we're seeing in the middle of the summer. We've been trying to keep an eye on next year, but also this year is important.
"The winning vibe and winning culture [that] have been present recently is something we've been looking for, for a little while. And we're pleased to have found it. We don't want to do anything to disrupt it. At the same time, it's very important to continue to have a focus on the future."
Monday's trade came less than 24 hours away from today's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline. While the Reds remain in fifth place in the National League Central, they have a 45-43 record since interim manager Jim Riggleman replaced Bryan Price on April 19. That has them more likely to be partial sellers. Starting pitcher Matt Harvey, a free agent after the season, could also be on the move before the Deadline.
Sims, 24, was a first-round pick of the Braves in the 2012 MLB Draft. After he debuted last season in the big leagues, he has posted a 5.96 ERA in 20 games, including 10 starts for Atlanta as well as six relief appearances this season. There has been more success at Triple-A for Sims, who is 4-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) at that level.
The Reds project Sims to be a big league starter and have some flexibility since he has a Minor League option remaining after this year.
"Sims is really the one that we viewed as the centerpiece of the deal," Williams said. "We watched him for a while. We've played against him. We've got good grades on him. He's had a lot of success the last couple of years in Triple-A. He's been up to the big leagues but hasn't had a lot of opportunity up there. We still think there's some pretty good upside."
Wisler, 25, has spent most of this season at Triple-A, where he is 4-4 with a 4.37 ERA in 13 starts. He's pitched in seven games with the Braves this year, including three starts, and has a 5.40 ERA. He could end up as either a starter or reliever for Cincinnati, but he is out of options after 2018.
"Not quite as much flexibility with him, but we'll get a good chance to evaluate him this year and see where he fits going forward," Williams said.
The 28-year-old Tucker was traded to from the Astros to the Braves in December 2017 in exchange for cash and has spent most of this season in the Majors with Atlanta. He was hitting .256/.307/.444 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 62 games.
Duvall came to the Reds in the July 2015 trade that sent pitcher Mike Leake to the Giants. He hit more than 30 homers in both 2016 and '17 and was a National League All-Star in '16. This season, his production struggled as he batted .205/.286/.399, but he's still hit 15 homers and 61 RBIs in his 105 games for Cincinnati.
One motivating factor for moving Duvall was the fact that he will become arbitration eligible this winter and get a big raise from the $645,000 he's currently making. The Reds are trying to free up resources to make more upgrades this winter. Also, the Reds have determined that their corner outfielders of the future are Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker.
"Big time contributor, good guy in the clubhouse. Definitely a great find by our scouts in the Leake trade that brought him over," Williams said. "This is one of those that was a tough decision, but it was definitely made with an eye on the future. It's an opportunity to get some arms that might help us and free up some opportunity for some other guys."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.