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

Biscuits One-Hit, Crush Chattanooga Saturday, 12-0

The Biscuits (13-9) brought their bats to work in a major way, thrashing the Chattanooga Lookouts (9-14) in a 12-0 rout on Saturday night at AT&T Field. The shutout was the Biscuits' first of the season, as starting pitcher Taylor Guerrieri (1-1) and reliever Buddy Borden combined to one-hit the hapless Lookouts after rain delayed the game's start by 22 minutes. Guerrieri ... (click for more)

UTC Softball Drops Two At UNCG

The Chattanooga Mocs softball team dropped a 9-8 back-and-forth contest and an 8-0 game to UNCG on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. UTC is 27-24 and 6-8 in Southern Conference action. In the first game, the Spartans got on the board with one run during the first inning. With the first hit for Chattanooga, senior Sam Taylor singled through the left side in the top of the third. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firefighter Arrested For Robbery Of Hixson Convenience Store

The Chattanooga Police Department has arrested a Chattanooga firefighter in connection with a robbery on Sunday morning. The firefighter has been identified as Steven Kyle Ratledge. Firefighter Ratledge was assigned to Station 19 in Hixson and has been with the department for approximately 3 1/2 years. Firefighter Ratledge has been placed on leave without pay as the investigation ... (click for more)

Rescuers Help Man After He Falls 30 Feet From Signal Bluff

Rescuers helped a man back up after he fell 30 feet on a Signal Mountain bluff on Saturday night. However, he was not seriously injured. At 11 p.m., a 911 call was made reporting the fall. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services responded to 1425 East Brow Road. When rescue personnel arrived on the scene, they reported a 25-year-old male had fallen 30 feet off the side of ... (click for more)

Being Proactive With Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. It affects an estimated one million Americans and four to six million worldwide,  There is no cure for Parkinson’s, and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Source: National Parkinson’s Foundation  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In May

Back when we were kids this day’s battle cry was, “Hooray, hooray for the First of May! Outdoor swimming starts today! With temperatures in the high 80s and we dive in to a new month, our monthly walk in a garden heavy with spring time pollen looks promising … AN ORCHID for the movie “Rocky” on its 40 th anniversary: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t ... (click for more)