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Should Atlanta hang onto Teheran or trade him?

Should the Braves hang onto Teheran or trade him while his value is high?

Julio Teheran’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors ever since the summer. Would the Braves, considering the rebuilding process they are in, think about trading their young starting pitcher?

His value should be tremendous, to the Braves and on the open market. In this market where third starters are getting $18 million per season, Teheran is a bargain.

He’s due $3.3 million in 2016, followed by $6.3 million in 2017, $8 million in 2018, $11 million in 2019 and there’s an option for 2020 for $12 million (with a $1 million buyout).

After two straight 14-win seasons, Teheran slumped a bit in 2015 with an 11-8 record. He had a 4.04 ERA, with 189 hits allowed in 200.2 innings, 73 walks and 171 strikeouts.

Teheran has now averaged just over 200 innings per season for the last three years. In his three seasons as a full-time member of the Atlanta rotation, Teheran has an ERA of 3.37. He’s also averaged 175.6 strikeouts per season in those three years.

Teheran did struggle in the first half of the 2015 season, with an ERA of 4.56. But in his last 15 starts, Teheran had an ERA of 3.42. That got his season ERA close to 4.00. He was particularly strong in his last six starts in September, as he posted a 1.62 ERA, with 30 hits allowed in 39 innings, 16 walks and 32 strikeouts.

Would the Braves be selling low if they traded Teheran? His value may be down a bit compared to a year ago, but again, considering the big money pitchers are getting, being able to acquire a pitcher like Teheran for an average of $8 million.

The belief is Shelby Miller is more in demand at this week’s winter meetings, but shouldn’t Teheran be the one teams are calling the Braves about? Miller can be a free agent after three years, while Teheran is under control for two additional seasons.

The Braves will likely be asked about Teheran, and if they have a chance to get a special bat, along with a young arm, it will be interesting to see if they pull the trigger on a trade. They may get tempted, as many teams unable to compete in the big-money market for pitchers seem ready to turn to the trade market instead of using free agency.

Would Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston or Houston possibly be interested in Teheran? They all may have some position players and young pitchers to put in a deal. It will be interesting to see if the Braves may place Teheran on the table in trade talks, or if they decide to keep him to increase his potential value.

If they do trade Teheran, the Braves better get a great return. They may be a year away from having more young arms to replace Teheran, but the potential get in a deal could really help the situation with the position players that are needed to make the Atlanta roster more well-rounded and competitive.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

 


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