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

Covenant Women Fall In Overtime To Birmingham Southern

The Covenant women's basketball team rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but visiting Birmingham Southern took over in the extra period for a 70-60 victory over the Scots on Saturday evening inside Barnes PE Center. Emma Grimes led three Covenant (4-2) players in double figure scoring with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Aleigha Williams added 15 ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Watching Some UNC Tar Heel Basketball – Again

Several days ago, I headed over to Chapel Hill, N.C., to watch the University of North Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams play for the second December in a row.   While I generally pull for the Tar Heel men’s team, they are only about my third or fourth favorite college basketball team. In fact, I actually pulled hard for Indiana, my favorite team along with my ... (click for more)

Tennessee Members Of Congress Urge President To Approve Federal Disaster Assistance For Tennessee Counties

Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation on Saturday urged President Obama to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help five Tennessee counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather in November rebuild and recover. “Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance and Individual ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Integrity And Ethics Lacking In Berke Administration

Mayoral candidate Larry Grohn criticized controversies and instability coming from the mayor’s administration as a sign of unethical leadership and a lack of integrity. He said, "These scandals lay out the simple fact that it is time for new leadership which is accountable to the people." Councilman Grohn’s criticism comes after the independent auditor’s release of a memorandum ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: John Glenn’s ‘Hero’

When John Glenn became the first man to orbit earth, the timing was perfect. I was 13 years old at the time, in need of a hero, and I latched on to the astronaut tighter than a tick. All of us boys knew he’d flown 150 missions in fighters in World War II and Korea and, believe me, he was “The Right Stuff” long before the great movie about the Mercy 7 daredevils came out about 30 ... (click for more)