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Friday, February 14, 2014

Braves agree to six year contract with Julio Teheran

The Braves have agreed to terms with RHP Julio Teheran on a six-year contract through the 2019 season. The deal includes an option for 2020.

Jason Heyward
Freddie Freeman
Julio Teheran
Andrelton Simmons
Mike Minor

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: beanballs, braves, bryce harper, contract extensions

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 14, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4656940)
Bah. Sam gets the news item while my submission is cruelly ignored. Racism!
   2. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4656948)
Craig Kimbrell
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4656949)
Wow. How did a thread having absolutely nothing to do with Derek Jeter make it past the censors?
   4. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4656952)
Bah. Sam gets the news item while my submission is cruelly ignored. Racism!


It's cause of my natural intelligence.

And yes, KT. You can pretty much cross Kimbrel off the list too.
   5. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4656955)
Dollar figures released. Comes in just over 32 mil for six years, plus an option for 12 mil on the seventh. Braves get buy-out of all of pre-arb, all of arb, plus the age 27 first year of free agency. Have an option on age 28 second year of free agency at 12 mil, which if Teheran stays healthy and performs to expectations is a steal. Julio gets 32 million dollars.
   6. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4656963)
2/4 - Hmmm? I thought they were going to play out the string with him.
   7. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4656969)
They're going to arb hearing with Kimbrel. They say 6 mil for 2014. He says 9 mil. If he wins arb they'll pay him this year, but they will trade him before 2015. The Braves have shown no sign of ever being willing to dump that kind of money/payroll percentage into a closer(*). If they win, they may play out another year of arb with him, but I just don't see the franchise extending a closer at market rates that Kimbrel will likely command. Not with Simmons and Minor still out there to be extended, plus a decision to be made about keeping Heyward or JUpton past 2016.

Craig Kimbrel is a luxury a mid-market team can't afford, even if they're supersmart like the Braves.

(*)the only closer they've ever paid any real money to was John Smoltz, and he signed that contract when he was a starter.
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4656974)
John McCain warned you this would happen if you lifted the sanctions too soon.
   9. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4656981)
This is undeniably a bit of a risk; Teheran has one good big league season under his belt, and he's a year removed from a 5+ ERA in AAA. But last year was a genuinely outstanding season, the stuff is there, the Braves have loved him for years (they apparently refused to include him in the Upton trade, insisting on Delgado instead) and I think it's reasonable to give the Braves an extraordinarily healthy benefit of the doubt when it comes to pitcher evaluation.

Considering the cost of pitching these days, it's hard not to like this.

EDIT: Plus, signing a big long-term contract might actually cause Julio to express an emotion.
   10. Sweatpants Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4656994)
(*)the only closer they've ever paid any real money to was John Smoltz, and he signed that contract when he was a starter.
Smoltz signed that contract in the 2001-02 offseason, after he'd started to close for the Braves. The Braves were pretty clear about keeping him in that role, whereas all/most of the other teams who had interest in free agent Smoltz wanted him to start.

That was over ten years ago, though, so it's not like it's any kind of sign that maybe they will shell out the big bucks for Kimbrel.
   11. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4656999)
EDIT: Plus, signing a big long-term contract might actually cause Julio to express an emotion.


That would be horrible. I love Robo-Julio and his willingness to drill you in the ass. He's like a clean shaven Pedro minus (to date) the 200+ ERA-pluses.
   12. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4657000)
Smoltz signed that contract in the 2001-02 offseason, after he'd started to close for the Braves.


Really? I misremember that then. Regardless, I don't think they'll dump that sort of cash into Kimbrel. I think they see Ryan Butcher as the next guy up for the closers job in ATL.
   13. zonk Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4657006)
6/32 - even if it blows up - isn't going to kill them.

This is a fabulous deal for the Braves... heck the bigger concern probably ought to be why was Teheran so eager to sign this? Maybe he's a lazy dude who, now that he's got 32 mil guaranteed, figures he can just get fat and crappy.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4657012)
This is a fabulous deal for the Braves... heck the bigger concern probably ought to be why was Teheran so eager to sign this?


Teheran is a pitcher. It's never a bad idea for a pitcher to lock into guaranteed money through his arb years. Just ask Brandon Beachy.
   15. flournoy Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4657025)
I think they see Ryan Butcher as the next guy up for the closers job in ATL.


Ryan Buchter (not Butcher) is a 27 year old (i.e. older than Kimbrel) minor league journeyman who may have upgraded himself from "non-prospect" to "maybe the seventh guy in the bullpen" status in the last year or so.
   16. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4657034)
Teheran is a pitcher. It's never a bad idea for a pitcher to lock into guaranteed money through his arb years. Just ask Brandon Beachy.

Absolutely. Any pitcher should be in a rush to sign his first big contract. You can think about getting very last dollar after that.
   17. Danny Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4657037)
This covers two pre-arb years, 3 arb-years, and one free agent year (with an option for a second). That would look something like:

2014: $0.5M
2015: $0.5M
2016: $3M
2017: $6M
2018: $9M
2019: $12M
2020: $12M (option w/ $1M buyout)

How different is that from what he would get going year-to-year? There's potentially some substantial savings in the free agent years, but there's also the risk he pulls a Ricky Romero.
   18. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4657048)
7 - Oh, okay. That's more or less what I was thinking as well.
   19. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4657064)
How different is that from what he would get going year-to-year? There's potentially some substantial savings in the free agent years, but there's also the risk he pulls a Ricky Romero.


No and yes. Yes, he could pull a Ricky Romero. That's the risk they're taking. Contracts come with risks and rewards.

The reward is that they buy out the arb and potentially two free agent years of a top-15 in the league pitcher. The Braves, currently embroiled with Craig Kimbrel re: arbitration differences, seem to believe that the arb market is about to explode upward. I think they're right. (It could be that I think this and am just seeing my opinions in the actions of my favorite team, but six of one, half dozen of the other.) I and they seem to believe that pitcher arb awards are about to start going higher and higher, as agents begin to reference things like the recent Clayton Kershaw deal into their "if him, why not us" arguments and comparisons to arbitrators. I think that's going to be fully engaged by 2016. So it looks more like:

2016: 6m
2017: 10m
2018: 14m

Then add that contract inflation back to the two free agent years, assuming Teheran does *not* go Romero.

2019: 17m
2020: 18m

That's the calculus in Atlanta, I'm sure.
   20. jdennis Posted: February 14, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4657076)
#17 - Adding up all that thru 19 + buyout = 32. So that projection is very similar to the contract and I think the option is actually for 12. So if the Braves had that projection, once that equaled or became more than what the agent wanted then they caved. You might be right on.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4657077)
Is there somewhere I can bet on Craig Kimbrel winning his arbitration?
   22. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4657102)
Frank Wren today:

"It gets us through his first couple of free-agent years. Again, (the goal is to) hold onto our young players, and again a lot of this is the product of having the opportunity to move into Cobb County and into a new ballpark and hopefully an area that allows us to stay competitive for the long term."
   23. Walt Davis Posted: February 14, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4657119)
I stopped tracking arb awards a few years ago but 3/6/9 looks kinda low to me (assuming health of course). Note, nobody actually goes to arb anymore so I should say "arb year salaries."

Garza was a super-2 and he beat $3 M in his first arb year back in 2010. But not by much, he made $19 M in his first 3 arb years but again that was as a super-2 (i.e. he would get a bit lower than a full arb).

Santana got 3/6/8 from 2009-11. Samardzija had that ML contract from draft day but his 2nd arb year is costing the Cubs over $5. Porcello (super 2) is on 3/5/8. Nolasco seems to have gone 3/6/9. For his first 2 arb years, Fister has gone 4/7 (what a dumb trade by the Tigers). Strasburg just got $4, seems low but health issues.

So not as high as I expected. But 3/6/9 looks like what you pay an average-ish starter -- Samardzija, Porcello, Nolasco. 4/7/10 is probably what you pay the good not great guys. Lincecum, Kershaw, etc. of course beat those numbers easily but arbitrators recognize those guys as special cases (i.e. I don't think those contracts affect regular arb buyouts/awards very much).

Some have proposed 40/60/80% of FA salary as a reasonable guesstimate for arb and it seems to work pretty well. Remember, guys like Hughes and Vargas just got multi-year $8 M contracts. Nolasco and Edwin Jackson got $12-13 M contracts. A solidly above-average pitcher is looking at 16-18 at least.

If Teheran is as good as you guys hope then seems he'd get at least 4/7/10, probably something like 5/8/11 or 6/9/12. Of course we all know he was just a TJS away from maybe making $2 in his first arb year. Looks like a worthwhile risk for the Braves. You don't see pitcher buyouts this early -- at least not that I recall. The A's did this with Mulder and Zito (and Hudson to a lesser extent I think).
   24. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4657124)
You don't see pitcher buyouts this early -- at least not that I recall. The A's did this with Mulder and Zito (and Hudson to a lesser extent I think).


The Braves are aggressively pursuing early buyouts for all of their young players. They wanted more free agent years from Heyward, but he didn't want to sign that deal. They bought out Freeman and now Teheran through 2020. They're targeting Simmons and probably Minor next. Unless I miss the mark, they are basically trying to sign all of their major young stars to Brian McCann deals and then decide in 2016 (for Heyward and Upton) and 2020 (for the guys that buy out to that point) which ones to keep and which ones to let the Yankees pay for their decline phases. This gives the franchise an opportunity to develop and analyze their next wave of minor league talent before signing a big free agent deal for anyone into their 30s.

Basically, the Braves are actively avoiding the Dan Uggla mistake. It may backfire on them, but I like it as a mid-market strategy to compete with approaching 30m per year free agent deals.
   25. Danny Posted: February 14, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4657182)
To be clear, #17 is just a stab at the structuring of this deal, given the reported terms, to make it easier to compare to the year-to-year alternative.
   26. SteveM. Posted: February 14, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4657190)
This is exactly what the Cubs should have done with Jeff Samardzija. But they won't because they will dick around and trade for some prospects that may be what he is now 4-5 years down the road. (My faith in the Theo rebuild is running a bit low).
   27. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4657225)
The Braves are aggressively pursuing early buyouts for all of their young players.

Understood. I'm just saying it's been unusual for teams to buy out pitchers this far in advance. Or I'm forgetting a lot of such contracts.

This is exactly what the Cubs should have done with Jeff Samardzija.

Not sure I agree. First they gave him quite a bit of money before he ever did anything. And he's only just finished his 2nd year as a starter and those two years amount to a 97 ERA+ and (this looks wrong) just 2.8 bWAR, 5.8 fWAR. This is that Nolasco/Jackson territory and there's no reason to be in a rush to tie up a pitcher like that.
   28. flournoy Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4657233)
If Ryan Doumit gets hurt in spring training and starts the season on the DL, it's entirely conceivable that the Braves could open the season with a 25-man roster composed entirely of players who played for them last year. To wit:
Lineup: Gattis, Freeman, Uggla, Johnson, Simmons, J. Upton, B. Upton, Heyward
Bench: Laird, Pena, Schafer, Terdoslavich, Pastornicky
Rotation: Minor, Medlen, Teheran, Beachy, Garcia
Bullpen: Kimbrel, Avilan, Carpenter, Walden, Varvaro, Wood, Gearrin

When's the last time a team did that?
   29. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4657345)
When's the last time a team did that?


Not to detract from your point, but I have Mat Gamel above Joey Terdoslavich on the depth charts, just because he plays 3B and 1B rather than OF and 1B. But your overall point is still valid. This team is going to be very much like last year's team. Garcia, Wood, and David Hale battle it out for the fifth starter spot. If Wood doesn't make it, he's likely going to the pen, as you have him above. Gavin Floyd will come into the picture some time in May as well.

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