The Winter Meetings get underway on Monday and the rumor mill is already starting to churn. MLB’s offseason is now clear to truly begin now that Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton have new homes.
It remains to be seen how involved the Atlanta Braves will be this week but veteran sports writer Peter Gammons suggests it will be significant and that the Braves will trade veteran starter Julio Teheran.
The Royals will trade Danny Duffy, but likely cannot get full value until he pitches in the regular season and shows is surgery for floating objects in his elbow are no longer a factor. The Giants will trade Jeff Samardzija’s contract, and talent. The Braves will trade Julio Teheran, who was spooked by their new, homer-happy park.
Teheran had a down year in 2017 posting a 4.49 ERA and a FIP of 4.95 while allowing a career-worst 31 home runs. It is true he did struggle early at SunTrust Park but his peripheral stats suggest that he was only slightly better on the road. Teheran allowed 14 home runs in 94.2 innings on the road so all of his homer problems can’t be blamed on his new home ballpark.
Teheran seemed to figure things out down the stretch and is entering his age-27 season. He is signed for two more seasons to a club-friendly deal that will pay him $8.1 million in 2018 and $11.1 million in 2019. His deal also includes an option for 2020.
The Braves could opt to seek a young controllable starter and replace Teheran while still leaving room for pitchers such as Max Fried, Luiz Gohara and Lucas Sims. It will be interesting to see what develops over the next four days as the Winter Meetings fully kick into gear.