For all the struggles that have taken place in Atlanta over the past two seasons, the materialization of trade rumors seemingly never rests around the Braves organization. The newest rumor to surface in Atlanta centers around the team’s ace, Julio Teheran.
There is growing speculation around baseball that the Braves may be willing to entertain trade offers for Teheran, who is currently enjoying the best season of his young career. With all the noise being generated about the possibility of a Teheran deal taking place this summer, it is fair to ask: Should the Braves really trade their young ace?
At just 25 years old, Teheran could be characterized as a young veteran, having already completed three full seasons at the major-league level. Though he has been an effective, durable starter throughout the early part of his career, Teheran has seemingly found another gear this season with a 2.46 ERA in just over 100 innings pitched. Teheran is also posting the best strikeout rate of his career at 8.4 K/9, and his best walk rate at 2.0 BB/9. These numbers are aided by a current 23-inning scoreless streak, but the overall numbers are still very impressive.
In addition to Teheran’s age, durability, and effectiveness, his increasingly team-friendly contract makes him one of the most attractive assets in baseball. In February 2014, the Braves inked Teheran to a six-year, $32.4 million deal that would keep him in Atlanta through the 2020 season. This contract came on the heels of Teheran’s first full season in the major leagues, and bought out all of his remaining years of team control plus one year of free agency. This was a bargain at the time, and looks to be an even bigger discount now given that Teheran will be owed just $12 million in 2020. With such an affordable contract and four years of control remaining after this season, what kind of package could teams offer the Braves and would it be enough to make a deal worth it from a Braves standpoint?