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

PHOTOS: CAK Drops Signal Mountain, 10-2

CAK Pummels Signal Mountain 10-2 In Class 2A State Baseball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Christian Academy of Knoxville, which won 19 of 20 games coming into the TSSAA Class 2A state baseball tournament. It didn’t take the Warriors long to take the starch out of Signal Mountain on Tuesday. CAK (36-5) scored the game’s first eight runs and cruised to a 10-2 victory over the Eagles at Blackman High School. The Warriors move on to ... (click for more)

Alexander: Corps Allocates $37 Million For Chickamauga Lock, Construction For 3rd Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 "includes good news for all of East Tennessee – and everyone who benefits from river traffic passing through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga." In addition to funding slated for the first three priority projects of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the Corps of Engineers’ Work ... (click for more)

Chris Thomas Serving As Interim Executive Director At Finley Stadium; Stadium And Pavilion Constantly In Use

The operation of Finley Stadium is in transition since the departure of former Executive Director Paul Smith and his staff. At the meeting of the Stadium Corporation’s board of directors Tuesday, Chairman Gordon Davenport announced that Chris Thomas, principal manager of the Chattanooga Market has stepped in to serve as interim executive director. Mr. Davenport told the board that ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Life With 007

I was 13 when the first of 24 James Bond movies came out and, at a time when my sap was just beginning to rise, I will never forget Ursula Andress stepping out of the sea wearing that white bikini. Our hero walks over to the dripping Honey Ryder – that was her name in “Dr. No” – and she says in the Swiss accent, “Are you looking for shells too?” And the first classic reply of thousands ... (click for more)