Julio Teheran trade rumors make no sense for Braves

It makes little sense for the Braves to consider trading starting pitcher Julio Teheran despite his struggles, which is a possibility some reports suggest. (AP photo)

It makes little sense for the Braves to consider trading starting pitcher Julio Teheran despite his struggles, which is a possibility some reports suggest. (AP photo)

Whether you agreed or disagreed with the Braves’ offseason trades involving Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel, there at least were reasonable arguments supporting all of the deals. Heyward and Upton were a year away from free agency, Gattis wasn’t viewed as a long-term answer at catcher and Kimbrel was viewed as expendable during a rebuilding period, especially given San Diego was (foolishly) willing to take on Melvin (B.J.) Upton, Jr.’s contract in the trade.

But trading starter Julio Teheran? That makes no sense.

Some readers emailed or Tweeted me questions a few weeks ago about the possibility of moving Teheran before the trade deadline, and I would imagine our David O’Brien has fielded similar queries. The only reason Teheran’s name is coming up is because he has struggled at times this season (6-5, 4.49) after two great years and has battled control issues (45 walks in 120.1 innings after only 51 in 221 the year before).

But at 24 years old, nobody should have expected he was a finished product after two great seasons.

Now, Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, who’s generally a solid reporter but whiffed in speculation on manager Fredi Gonzalez’s future, is at it again:

Two rival executives said Wednesday that the Braves are open to trading right-hander Julio Teheran — “quite open,” was how one put it.

However, a source with knowledge of the Braves’ thinking said that the team is not even considering such a move, explaining that Teheran is only 24, in the second year of a club-friendly six-year, $32.4 million contract and part of a deep crop of young pitchers the club worked hard to assemble.

All of that makes sense, but it’s not unusual for clubs to deny that a player is available until the moment he is traded. The Braves did just that during the offseason with Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel. Teheran’s age and contract make him attractive to other clubs as well as the Braves, despite his 4.53 ERA.

Team plans are subject to change – and sometimes vary according to a player’s performance. Teheran, in fact, is reversing his regression from earlier this season — he matched his career-high with 11 strikeouts against the Dodgers on Wednesday, and has pitched to a 2.81 ERA in his last four starts.

What if the Braves could trade Teheran for multiple pitching prospects and/or a young catcher?

Surely they would consider such a deal. Surely Teheran is not untouchable.

OK, let’s start with this: 1) NOBODY is untouchable, for the right deal. But you can say that about almost any player … on any team … in any sport … in any year; 2) OF COURSE, “Teheran’s age and contract make him attractive” to other clubs. That’s precisely why the Braves like him — that, and it doesn’t make sense to bail on a pitcher of his talents after one up-and-down season.

My view: This is pre-trade deadline drivel, whether concocted by a rival executive, Rosenthal or the Easter Bunny. I can’t imagine a scenario in which the Braves’ deal Teheran because he’s a guy with No. 1 starter potential (as he showed for two seasons) and the assets it would take for a team to acquire him from the Braves likely would exceed what that team would part with at the deadline.

Now, let’s talk about a former great Braves’ starter — John Smoltz. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. I leave for Cooperstown, N.Y., Friday. Here’s the first of several columns and blogs I’ll be filing: The competitive instinct that drove Smoltz on the field … and off the field, with hilarious results. Many stories shared by his close friend and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. To read, click here.

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Reader Comments 0

81 comments
JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

Trade him. You've got a surplus of starters and desperately need bats. Your starting five comes from Wood, Miller, Fried, Folty, Wisler, Perez, Banuelos, or any of the other young arms they've drafted in the past 2-3 years. Desperately need power bats. But let's not give this player away. 

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

It would take the farm to get him. Contract and his AS status and only 24? This would take the top 4 prospects from a very talent rich organization. 2 Pitchers and a 3B, C. In other words it ain't happening.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@LowcountryBulldawg 

He's not exactly the next Pedro Martinez. He certainly does not have Pedro's temperament. Four top prospects? I'll take two, preferably a 3B and C. Contenders need starting pitching. Yes his contract is quite attractive, but we have guys here or on the way up with better stuff. Julio is expendable for the right price.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@LowcountryBulldawg 


When you trade for prospects you often get a bunch of stuff


Best example of that was the Dusty Baker deal to the Dodgers in 76. 


The Justin Upton deal was for pretty much stuff -- though the Braves were not going to sign him anyway -- Jace Peterson is not as good as hyped earlier in the yr and Fried has not thrown a baseball all yr


Not believing in Mallex Smith and Dustin Perterson -- they might not even make the majors

seminoleking
seminoleking

Even in his two good years, i never liked the fact that he gives up the long ball. Its all or nothing with Julio. He either strikes you out, or you hit it out of the park on him.

Termigator
Termigator

IF they trade him I hope it is for a power hitting 3b, LF or RF.  Defensively the Braves are very good except AJ is getting long in the tooth behind the plate; they are only lacking power. I wish somehow we could get Justin back; I think I read where his team is actually trying to unload some salary.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@Termigator 

Justin Upton will be a free agent, a primary reason he was dealt by the Braves. He's not coming back. Let someone else pay him $20 million + a year.  After a hot start this season he's down to .251 As for the Padres they are trying to shed some payroll. Craig Kimbrel might be a Yankee or a National by this time next week. Throwing around a lot of money does not equate a winning product on the field.

freezboy
freezboy

Tehran is not going anywhere till at least after the first year of the new ball park...striking out 11 is worth watching..and the wait...WOOF

reckingball
reckingball

Good pitching is hard to find, and Teheran is a good pitcher.

All of the players that were traded, were done so to get young pitching, what would you be looking for in exchange for Julio?

Is getting rid of CJ, worth losing Teheran?

Does Ken Rosenthal really know what he is talking about, or does he make a lot of this poop up, as click bait?

SeanLB
SeanLB

Consider this situation:


We took on Maybin's contract as a sweetener for San Diego to give up their #1 pitching prospect (Wisler, I believe) as they were absorbing BJ's contract, as well.  Maybin then turned into much more than we anticipated.  This means that our move of taking on salary to unload BJ has now turned into an asset.  I like Maybin, too, but he's the one I'd package to unload CJ, as he's older than a lot of our prospects and likely won't be here when we're really ready to contend anyway.


Anytime you take on salary to make something work and then suddenly that player becomes an asset, sell high, unless you have every intention of paying him for the foreseeable future.  We got lucky with Maybin.  We can really make that move pay off by using him to unload CJ.  You DO NOT trade Teheran with his team-friendly contract!  

SeanLB
SeanLB

@SaveAmericaFromItself @SeanLB I like Maybin as well, but do you really think that he's suddenly "figured it out" after bouncing around the league?  I'd say 'get while the gettin is good' and move him for far more than we expected to ever get right now.  Just my opinion.  Now, if you're right, and he does play at this level for the next 5 years, of course keep him.  But, I'm just not convinced that is the case.  

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@SeanLB @SaveAmericaFromItself 

Maybin's been very consistent since getting a chance to start here. He's comfortable with himself and I've heard numerous accounts of his close relationship with new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. Baseball has a long history of late bloomers.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@SeanLB


Maybin is the only person in the org who can play a major league CF and he has turned into a fair hitter


Mallex Smith is not the answer and Todd Cunningham -- not MLB


You have to keep Maybin and AJ unless you want less then replacement level players at catcher and CF


Bethancourt is a bust and should be DFAed

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@SeanLB 

CJ impacts the payroll at about $8 million per season, thru 2017. He's not breaking the bank like Uggla and BJ and others before them did for their lack of production. A potential Teheran trade should at least land the Braves a young stud at catcher or 3B, one ready to step in as early as 2016.

As for Maybin I'm hoping he's here for a long time.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

When I saw those rumors yesterday, I immediately thought, I wonder if this is some sweetner for a Chris Johnson unload.  They wouldn't do that twice would they.  I think they REALLY want to unload Johnson and they seem to have deliberately run down his trade value by never playing him this year.  Going to have to throw someone a bone to get them to take Chris. 

BillEGoat
BillEGoat

U think Teheran is somewhat of a head case and MAY never outgrow that. He has trouble doing "damage control" and maintaining composure when something goes wrong like bad call by an umpire, a misplay by his defense, etc. Truer, he is only 24 but SHOULD be getting past that better in his third year in MLB. The idea that he is the "ace" of the staff might be a factor bothering him. like starting on opening day. He might be better on a team that has a couple of star pitchers, where he could be the number 3 or 4 guy. This guy seems to be a very young 24, seems uncomfortable on the mound too often..

SeanLB
SeanLB

@BillEGoat Yeah, I agree with this assessment.  If he can get his head right, he can take another step.  But, he seems a bit combative with coaching (gets upset when pulled), and seems to believe he "has it" even on days he doesn't...none of that adds up to being an "ace".  

hipdawg
hipdawg

He is not an ace, (there really are only a few of them in the league).But he is a serviceable 3rd or 4th rotation guy that is really affordable.He  is having an off year that is improving. .With all the young arms it would make more sense to wait until next year to see how they are doing, and give time to see if Teheran bounces back.There are plenty of other pieces that need to move on.

hipdawg
hipdawg

Can we trade the manager for a player? lol.(wishful thinking).

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

@58Supersports You and I often agree on a lot of things this is not one, but it is ok to disagree you my be right and I may be wrong. But I say hold on to him he has the talent. But he is not a Ace. But if someone comes shopping with a big Ace then it changes everything no matter what position


58Supersports
58Supersports

@SomewherenSGa @58Supersports  Like I said below for a major league ready catcher, 3b or LF with power and two AA prospects... see below.  I don't want to just give any player away not even CJ...maybe FG.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@SomewherenSGa @58Supersports 

Hold on to him, for what? If Julio can bring in a stud catcher or 3B, he won't be missed in the starting rotation. Thanks to John Hart, the Braves are well-stocked in young starting pitchers, with more on the way up.  

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

Who is your favorite Braves player that was traded mine was Brett Butler, was there for his last game.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@SomewherenSGa  Me too, I was season ticket fan at the time. Brett was also super person who had a hell of a fight with cancer and beat it so far. He is still in baseball as manager in minor league...Butler trade made a lot of fans mad....




SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@SomewherenSGa 

I was devastated by the Brett Butler trade. Joe Torre signed off on it and it got him fired. The ramifications of that trade was felt throughout the 80s as the Braves quickly reverted back to their sorry selves. Another was when the Braves sent a young Dusty Baker to the Dodgers. Before the dust settled all they got out of it was a scrappy utility player named Jerry Royster, while Dusty led the Dodgers to 3 World Series. Gary Matthews for Bob Walk was another disaster.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@SaveAmericaFromItself 


I remember the Dusty Baker deal -- that was one of those when we gave up quality for quantity -- and when you get stuff for stars usually all you get is stuff


The Thrashers got stuff for the 2 best players they ever had and it finished the NHL here and I am not over that -- I do not want soccer here and will not support it will make me more disgusted with sports in ATL


Len Barker was also terrible when he was here -- he was the worst

BobbyCox
BobbyCox

Trading Teheran makes sense depending on who you get in return. Julio isn't Cy Young, nor an "ace." He's been unpredictable, inconsistent, and has troubles on the road. So why wouldn't you consider trading him? Get a clue.

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

@BobbyCox Why would you trade one 24 year old that has been in your system and showed what he can do for someone else you have to take a chance on. That's what was wrong with the Wren years, you never did it Bobby Cox. You are not going to get a super ace for him. Just would like to know who you would go after and I am not trying to be smart really your opinion. 

HUDDYS1FAN
HUDDYS1FAN

@BobbyCox Teheran pitched more than well enough in 2014 to win 20 games. That is "ACE" material all day long.

Polskidawg
Polskidawg

Teheran is a solid MLB starting starter - in a "good" rotation he is a decent #2 or excellent #3 starter, not a #1.


Good contract, good player and should continue as such for several years. However, contending teams that have a real need for a solid #3 (think: LA Dodgers, SF Giants, etc) MAY be willing to overpay for Teheran – fortunately the Braves currently are being constructed by someone with actual team-building experience.


If Hart can turn Teheran into a couple of real MLB prospects/players, I'm all for it. 

HUDDYS1FAN
HUDDYS1FAN

I kinda smiled and then laughed upon hearing this nonsense concerning Teheran. But again, no player is truly untouchable. However, the rub is John Hart. who will ask for the farm, first born and your favorite toy in return. Which no GM is his right mind is going to fork over for Julio Teheran.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@HUDDYS1FAN 

"However, the rub is John Hart. who will ask for the farm, first born and your favorite toy in return. Which no GM is his right mind is going to fork over for Julio Teheran."

That is a good GMs job. It was a general consensus on here that the Braves would be stuck with BJ's contract. John Hart found a taker. Had to give up Kimbrel, who ironically may be in Yankee pinstripes this time next week. Maybin & Wisler are now Braves as a result.

KBrave
KBrave

Teheran has a big ego and bad attitude.  The Braves are better off trading him for a bat like Yasiel Puig or Carlos Gomez or Josh Donaldson or Jonathan Lucroy.

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

@KBrave are you serious he does not have a ego or bad attitude, then you turn around and say trade him for Puig (Mr Ego!). Brave do not raise ego centered player or they are traded, remember the Justice situation. Who still happen to be one of my Favorite Braves.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@KBrave 

No to Puig and his drama. Gomez makes a lot of errors for a centerfielder. Donaldson is intriguing; he's from Braves' country, plays 3B and is a free agent this November. Lucroy would look nice catching for the Braves.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Jeff,

The Braves possible willingness to trade Teheran centers not so much on his recent "surge" as you're suggesting but their belief they have up-and-comers as good or better then Teheran.  They need some offensive prospects too, especially with some good pop in their bat as they are void of this on the roster and in their minor league system.

Frankly, I have also thought Teheran was overrated and I think we have seen his ceiling.

And, since you mentioned his name and he was an even greater prospect than Teheran, have we at all missed Tommy Hanson?

Lastly, your quote: "I can’t imagine a scenario in which the Braves’ deal Teheran because he’s a guy with No. 1 starter potential."  You have got to be kidding me? Seriously, Jeff?

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Dona014

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DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I'll ask this, too. Where are the "stud" players coming back in return for all this front line major league talent the Braves are trading away? Not one building-block position player. What have we seen so far, Shelby Miller (Teheran coming the other way), Maybin, who was a placeholder brought in to platoon, and a .250 second baseman. An early wisp of Wisler and Banuelos and Perez, far too early to make any judgments about them. No, what they have at this point is hope and prayers, not young studs.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I have some considerable personal experience with a Major League team operating as AAAA farm team for the rest of the league, having grown up in Kansas City in the late 50's and early 60's. I agree, generally speaking, everyone is available for the right deal, but trading Teheran would absolutely cause me to question what is going on.


Some of the signings and trades in MLB these days cause me to seriously question if everything is above-board, or if there's some money flowing under the table with agents and the like.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@DawgDadII

Senility and skepticism may creeping in, my old friend.  May be time to double-up on that Ensure and Geritol!   LOL!

Kwajbraves
Kwajbraves

Chances are the he will be in ATL for the rest of this season. Although, he may be traded on the offseason if the right offer come along. 

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

I am going to disagree with you on this one Jeff.  Yes, the package would obviously have to be solid, which was mentioned by Rosenthal, but he is FAR from untouchable.  I think the previous two years were a serious aberration.  I know some will go off on this, but let me explain.


1) His mechanics are NOT solid.  They are not Tommy Hanson bad, but he is continually flying open, falling to one side or the other and it seems to be actually getting worse. 

2) The last two years, he was effectively wild.  He got away with more bad pitches than any other pitcher I have probably ever watched.  While Mike Minor seems to never get away with bad pitches because he stays near the zone, Julio is so wild that batters didn't know how to approach him.  That luck faded this year.  His hanging breaking pitches are getting hammered.  His belt high, center of the plate fastballs are getting hammered.  His 'newness' has worn completely off on the league.  The last couple of years players swung at his wild stuff far too often and he tore them up, but the book is out now and because he has no idea where he is throwing it batters are just waiting on that mistake or a walk. 

3) Yes, he is an unfinished product, but he should be taken what he has learned and adding to it.  Instead he is getting worse.

4)  His value might be at it's all time high.  We have to consider that.  Do we want him to waste away to a lesser value and get much less in return?  This same argument was made for Jair Jurrgens when he started to slip a little but we kept him until his value was nothing.  Same with Tommy Hanson. 


The point is, if you have a player you just are not truly sure about and his value is already slipping but still high, do you pull the plug or not?  It's a big risk either way, but I can definitely see why the Braves might be willing to move him.  Saying it doesn't make sense just doesn't make sense, especially when you are talking about the one position we might actually have enough depth to absorb the trade.

drew48
drew48

Depends on the inside info that Roger and perhaps scouts know about Teheran that we don't. It may be a no brainer to trade him if can get a decent return. His struggles pitching in cold weather could be an issue that would render him useless deep in the post season if they are fortunate to get there with him.