Braves Sign RHP Julio Teheran To Six-Year Deal

Friday, February 14, 2014
Julio Teheran could mature into the ace of Atlanta's starting pitchers.
Julio Teheran could mature into the ace of Atlanta's starting pitchers.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Braves general manager Frank Wren described the decision to give Freddie Freeman a franchise-record, eight-year contract as the first step in a comprehensive plan to begin locking up a portion of the club's talented young core.

Step two in this process was put in place Friday morning, when the Braves announced they had signed Julio Teheran to a six-year $32.4 million extension that includes an option for the 2020 season. If the option is exercised, the 23-year-old pitcher will earn $44.4 million over the next seven seasons.

Given that Teheran has spent just one full season at the Major League level, the Braves are making somewhat of a gamble with this extension.

But if Teheran remains healthy and lives up to his potential, this could prove to be a wise investment based on what starting pitchers are making in the current market. From the young pitcher's perspective, he has the potential to gain financial security through what would have been his second free-agent eligible season.

Teheran will make an average of $5.4 million through the first six years of his contract and would gain an average salary of $6.34 million if the deal extends to a seventh season. Last month, the Braves gave a $3.85 million salary to Mike Minor, who is entering the first of what could be four arbitration-eligible seasons.

"I'll just go out there and try to be the same pitcher," Teheran said. "I don't think the contract is going to change the pitcher I am. I will just try to go out there, compete, and win some games. It's going to be relaxed now."

The Braves are hoping to see Teheran make the strides he made last year, when he distanced himself from a disappointing 2012 season with Triple-A Gwinnett by going 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA. This impressive 30-start stretch rekindled the promise he had created through the 2011 season, when he stood as one of baseball's top overall prospects.

While the Braves believe Teheran has the potential to one day establish himself as the ace of their rotation, Wren chose not to specifically tag the pitcher at this stage in his career.

Wren once again stated that the opportunity to make these long-term commitments is a product of the additional revenue the Braves are expected to gain courtesy of their new Cobb County stadium, which is set to open in 2017.

Now that the Braves have locked up Teheran and Freeman, whose eight-year, $135 million contract will keep him in Atlanta through at least the 2021 season, the club will continue to evaluate the possibility of extending similar long-term commitments to some of their other young talented players.

While Wren did not specify targets, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons stand as two of the club's players who could eventually receive one of these extended commitments. Last week, Heyward received a two-year, $13.5 million contract that bought out his final two arbitration-eligible seasons. If the 24-year-old outfielder displays his tremendous potential over the next two years, there is a chance he could prove to be too expensive for the Braves.

If Heyward remains healthy during the next two years, he is quite capable of proving productive enough to receive a contract similar to the one Freeman signed.

It remains to be seen whether the Braves will have the financial flexibility necessary to make Heyward this kind of offer. But over the last week, the club has shown it is committed to entering its new stadium with at least a portion of its talented core still together.

---- Source: MLB.com

Julio Teheran
Julio Teheran
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Marion County Picked To Take Region 3-2A Title

Marion County, state runners-up the last two seasons, have been picked to win the Region 3-2A high school football championship in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. The Warriors will be under the direction of new head coach Joey Mathis, who takes over for Ricky Ross. Ross left Marion County to become the defensive coordinator at McCallie School. Mathis ... (click for more)

Wolcott Leading Choo Choo Golf

Dickson's Ben Wolcott shot 64 Tuesday and took the second-round lead in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational at the Council Fire Golf Club. Wolcott, who plays at Ole Miss, shot 67 on Monday and holds a five-shot lead over Wes Gosselin and Michael Nagy. The tournament ends Wednesday. Results:   Ben Wolcott ... (click for more)

$30 Million Development Planned At King And South Market; Will Include Hotel, Condos, Offices, Retail, Possible Restaurant

A new $30 million development is planned for the Southside at King Street and South Market. Nick Wilkinson, city deputy director for economic development, said it will include a hotel, condos, offices, retail and possibly a restaurant. It could also include some light industry. A storage building and a parking lot are now at the site. He said the developers plan to reuse ... (click for more)

Investor In Scheme Says Dyer Made Contacts At Quarterback Club

One of the investors who was a loser in an investment scheme recently halted by the Securities and Exchange Commission said one of the Chattanooga brokers involved made many of his contacts through the Chattanooga Quarterback Club. Paul Smith, former Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman, said Doug Dyer has been the president for many years of the club that promotes UTC and ... (click for more)

Expand Broadband Internet, Not The Size Of Government

I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.  Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)