4) Atlanta Braves P Julio Teheran
A deal for 25-year-old Julio Teheran would be a very different type of move from the ones above. Teheran would remain under team control through the 2019 season, and is signed for a very reasonable $25 million over the next three seasons—plus a $12 million team option in 2020. His current deal is an even more team friendly $3.3 million in 2016.
Long considered a top prospect in the game, Teheran is putting up a strong 2.57 ERA this season in 10 starts, with a solid 8.4 K/9. Teheran ate up more than 200 innings each of the last two seasons, and earned an All-Star bid for this 14-13, 2.89 ERA season in 2014.
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So, yeah, Julio Teheran could become the ace the Kansas City Royals need over the next two seasons. He’d make a great addition to the team’s current core and would be a great help for their goal of establishing themselves in baseball history as a dynasty.
In other words, people, Julio Teheran would COST.
Yet, if Dayton Moore is going to make a huge deal like this, the Atlanta Braves would be a comfortable trading partner for him. Though Moore left the Atlanta front office ten years ago, both he and his primary lieutenants in Kansas City grew up in the Atlanta front office and have many friends there still.
In short, Moore will trust the men he’s dealing with and know that Teheran has been developed in a way consistent with his philosophy in Kansas City.
I know the idea seems counter-intuitive given KC’s need at third base after losing Moustakas. But, a deal for Teheran could make rotation depth available to trade that could help land Yuniel Escobar or another third base fill in if Cheslor Cuthbert or Hunter Dozier aren’t up to the job.
Landing Teheran would require that Moore strip mine his farm system. It would take Raul Mondesi for starters, and probably the KC Royals prospects closest to helping the big club. Add in Hunter Dozier, Miguel Almonte (or Kyle Zimmer if Atlanta thinks he can stay healthy), plus a promising lower minors arm like Ashe Russell could maybe get the deal done.
The beauty of a Teheran deal, however, is that with four years of team control, the Royals could trade him after the 2017 season to restock their talent pipeline. Even if the Kansas City Royals WERE willing to deal their best prospects, however, they could still get outbid by teams with stronger farm systems.
Next: Time To Buy Low?