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Marlins agree to 1-year deal with Adam Duvall

Finally, a move to bolster the Marlins offense for 2021!

National League Division Series Game 1: Atlanta Braves v. Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Free agent outfielder Adam Duvall is on the verge of signing with the Marlins. The 32-year-old, who has been on the team’s radar throughout the offseason, has agreed to a “very creative” one-year, $5 million contract, according to the Miami Herald’s Craig Mish.

That precisely matches right-hander Anthony Bass for the largest guarantee they’ve given to any 2020-21 free agent.

A career .233/.293/.468 hitter (96 wRC+) in the major leagues, Duvall’s bat has perked up the last two seasons (.248/.307/.545, 117 wRC+), particularly in head-to-head competition with the Fish.

Since the start of this rebuild three-plus years ago, no Marlins hitter has homered more than 22 times in a single season. Barring a severe injury, Duvall—career average of 31 home runs for every 162 games played—should be able to top that.

In 2021, ZiPS projects Duvall to slash .228/.292/.472 (92 wRC+) and produce 1.1 fWAR. PECOTA has his 50th percentile projection at .231/.298/.479 with a 112 DRC+ and 1.5 WARP.

He’s been generally regarded as a great defensive player. However, his Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average marks have declined since being traded from the Reds to Atlanta in July 2018.

Given the increasing likelihood that the National League will not use the designated hitter this season, Duvall’s arrival could have a fascinating ripple effect on the Marlins roster. His clearest fit would be in right field, displacing right-handed-hitting internal candidates Garrett Cooper, Lewis Brinson and Harold Ramirez. Or perhaps this addition signals that Cooper will settle in at first base with Jesús Aguilar becoming trade bait for an AL team (Aguilar will earn $4.35M in 2021).

Miami’s 40-man roster is currently full, so Duvall’s signing would require a corresponding move of some kind. Regardless, the structure of this deal means it adds only $2M towards the 2021 payroll, keeping the team’s total below $60M.

Duvall is represented by CAA, the same agency that works on behalf of Sandy Alcantara, Jorge Alfaro, Brian Anderson and numerous Marlins prospects.

More updates to come...