The Braves will likely have the best starting pitcher up for grabs this summer as the trade deadline nears. Julio Teheran is young, has a team-friendly contract and is currently enjoying the best season of his career.
We stated the reasons the Braves should trade Teheran here. In this post, we examine the reasons why the club should hold onto him.
Why the Braves should keep Teheran
The Braves have spent the last 20 months trying to gather as much pitching as possible. The reason: quality, affordable pitching is baseball's biggest currency. It's why the team drafted three high school pitchers with the 3rd, 40th and 44th picks two weeks ago. It's why the Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis trades all featured a high-upside pitcher or two. Peter Gammons noted the other day that the Braves have 12 pitchers taken in the first round in the organization right now, which is absurd.
Wei-Yei Chen signed for $80 million over five years last offseason. Ian Kennedy somehow got five years and $70 million. Mike Pelfrey got two years and $18 million to post a 5 ERA for the Tigers.
Read more: Why the Braves may trade Teheran
Considering that Teheran will earn just $37 million over the next 4.5 seasons, he's a huge bargain. His contract is one of the most team-friendly in baseball, and it's even more valuable for a mid-market club like the Braves.
There is also the issue of what would be left in the Braves' rotation. It would be some mix of Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, John Gant, Williams Perez, Tyrell Jenkins and a cheap veteran to open SunTrust Park. That would be brutal. Even if guys like Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims figure it out and arrive by mid-2017, there would be major question marks with just about everyone.
Unless a team is willing to grossly overpay for Teheran – I'm talking more than the Shelby Miller return – I don't see why the Braves deal their young righty. If someone gets desperate, you take the deal. But unless it's a franchise-changing deal that John Coppolella couldn't possibly turn down in good conscious, the club should keep Teheran.