There really is a plethora of solid free-agent outfield options this year, and it would certainly behoove the Cleveland Guardians to add one to the mix for next season.
Four of those free agents have been covered here before, but let's take a look at another impending free agent in Adam Duvall.
Duvall, 35, is coming off a pretty typical Duvall-like season in which he hit .247/.303/.531 with 21 home runs, 24 doubles, 58 RBI, and a 119 OPS+ in 353 plate appearances. As is often the case with Duvall, his season was characterized by blistering stretches in which he was the hottest hitter in baseball, followed by ice-cold weeks - or months. For instance, Duvall slashed .304/.360/.685 with nine home runs in August, but followed that up with a .149/.177/.324 line in September.
Still, though, the ebbs and flows of Duvall's season aren't all that different from many other players in the league, especially those built on hitting home runs. And he's certainly proven to have prodigious power throughout his career, hitting 30 or more homers in three of his ten MLB seasons.
With his age and injuries over the past two seasons, the market shouldn't be out of control for a guy like Duvall. If the Guardians were to pursue him, they'd be perhaps abandoning the core organizational tenets of not striking out, getting on base, etc. But at this point, Cleveland needs a guy like this, somebody who more or less sells out to crush the ball - which Duvall certainly does. He'll strike out plenty (over 30% most of the time) and hardly ever walk, but when it comes to exit velocity and barreling up on the ball, Duvall is elite.
If we're talking about a stopgap veteran solution in the outfield, likely signed to a one-year deal (possibly with an option for two if the front office is forced to stomach it), Duvall could certainly fit the bill. This is looking purely at his power potential; even if the Guardians can take advantage of it for 300-400 at-bats in a season, it'll be instrumental to helping this team score more runs.
Duvall signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox last season for a mere $7 million. That's such an insignificant drop in the bucket for a guy who gives you 20+ home runs in just over 300 at-bats. A move like this won't rile up the fan base and have people running over each other to buy season tickets, but this is the type of acquisition that lengthens a lineup, gives you some depth, and provides just a bit more power. Plus, when he's truly on and locked in, a guy like Duvall can carry your offense for weeks.
He just turned 35 in September, so who knows how much longer he'll be able to play at this level, but if his next contract looks anything like what he signed with Boston last year, it would be insane for the Guardians to not take a chance.