This year's free agent market for starting pitchers was already going to be suspect. But with Monday night's news that Stephen Strasburg is re-signing with the Nationals, the remaining list got downright ordinary.
So will that make it more likely teams will now target young and controllable arms for their rotations?
If so, Atlanta's Julio Teheran will be at the top of many lists. He's only 25 years old. He's been in Atlanta's rotation for three-plus seasons. In the last three years, Teheran has averaged over 200 innings per season. After a rocky start this season, Teheran has his ERA down to 3.48.
And the big thing - Teheran is under contract through the 2020 season for a total (including this season) of $40.6 million. So that's an average of $8 million for a pitcher that could be a solid number two or three starter in a great rotation.
National baseball writers speculated Tuesday the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers would have interest in those sort of pitchers before the trade deadline. So they may be scouting Teheran closely in the next two months.
One site even predicted several trades, with Teheran going to the Red Sox for a package of four prospects - catcher Blake Swihart, third baseman Michael Chavis, first baseman Nick Longhi and left-handed starter Trey Ball. That's the sort of deal the Braves will likely look for - one with an emphasis on position players that includes at least one solid pitching prospect.
Keep in mind that Frank Wren is now in Boston's front office. Wren was Atlanta's general manager when the Braves signed Teheran and Wren gave the pitcher the long-term contract extension. If the Red Sox do look for rotation help, you can assume Wren will try and convince Dave Dombrowski to look closely at Teheran.
If the Yankees came calling for Teheran, you could imagine the Braves asking for outfielder Aaron Judge. He's a legit power-hitting prospect who is now in Triple-A. The Dodgers have outfielder Trayce Thompson blocked by other veterans, and they have plenty of pitching.
So as the Braves see which veterans they may move before the August 1 trade deadline, their number one pitcher might be the most valued commodity they have on the roster. Expect the trade rumors to be loud and frequent.
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