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OC Register: Angels Offseason Options: Julio Teheran

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(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

JULIO TEHERAN, RHP, Atlanta Braves

The basics: During the Braves’ recent lean years, Teheran was one of the few young players they kept around. He’s a two-time All-Star, heading into his age 28 season.

2018 season: Teheran bounced back from his worst season – a 4.49 ERA in 2017 – to post a 3.94 ERA. He started 31 games, his sixth straight season of at least 30 starts. He did not crack the Braves’ postseason rotation, though.

Contract status: Teheran has one year left on his contract, at just under $11.2 million, along with an option for $12 million in 2020.

Why he makes sense: The Angels need durability, and you can’t get much more durable than Teheran, this side of Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer. Over the last six seasons, he’s averaged 31.5 starts and 193 innings, and he’s still not even 30. He’s also got a career ERA of 3.64. He would also be a relatively inexpensive, short-term commitment, as opposed to spending big money on a four- or five-year deal for a starter like Patrick Corbin or Dallas Keuchel. Most teams probably wouldn’t be willing to trade a guy like Teheran, but the Braves happen to have one of the best stables of young pitchers in the major leagues. If there’s a team that could afford to part with Teheran, it’s them. Mike Foltynewicz has emerged as their No. 1. As Teheran nears the end of his deal, the Braves might choose to flip him elsewhere to free up money for one of their more pressing needs.

Why he doesn’t: Although Teheran probably wouldn’t cost as much in trade as a Jacob DeGrom or J.T. Realmuto, his age, contract and durability still make him a pretty attractive piece who won’t be cheap. The Angels would certainly have to give up a top 10 prospect as part of the package. If the Angels do unload the prospect capital it would take to land Teheran, he’d likely be their only significant trade acquisition of the winter. Also, one of the Braves’ best pitchers this year was Anibal Sanchez, who is a free agent. Assuming the Braves don’t re-sign Sanchez, they could need Teheran to cover his innings. Teheran’s strikeout-to-walk ratio has been declining, which could be a red flag for the Angels to avoid him.

Previous players: C J.T. RealmutoRHP Nate EovaldiRHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP CC Sabathia, UT Daniel Descalso.

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I could see a reliever being a part of the deal too. 

Teheran checks a lot of boxes in what Eppler usually targets. His contract status allows the Angels to hold onto him for another year as well if Ohtani (maybe even Richards) come back to the mound a little slowly, and he also retains some deadline trade value if Eppler flips him.

If he's the only significant pitching addition, I'd be a little disappointed and worried, but coupled with either a solid innings-eater or a good reliever, I'd be okay with this, depending on the price of course.

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I like the idea. But why would the Braves who went to the playoffs this year want to trade a 28 year old good to average pitcher?

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I have always liked Teheran... I wouldn’t be opposed to getting him even though he’s a bit inconsistent. He’s kind of like an Ervin Santana type. He has good stuff and will have a good year which makes you think he’s getting to the next level, but then the next year he will pull a Joe Blanton.

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2 hours ago, Kevinb said:

I like the idea. But why would the Braves who went to the playoffs this year want to trade a 28 year old good to average pitcher?

 

7 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

Most teams probably wouldn’t be willing to trade a guy like Teheran, but the Braves happen to have one of the best stables of young pitchers in the major leagues. If there’s a team that could afford to part with Teheran, it’s them. Mike Foltynewicz has emerged as their No. 1. As Teheran nears the end of his deal, the Braves might choose to flip him elsewhere to free up money for one of their more pressing needs.

 

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By the way, one of the things I learned at the GM meetings is this guy is definitely available.

I don't know how interested the Angels are or what the prospect cost would be, just that the Braves are open to moving him.

Seems to me he'd be a pretty good fit if they could get him for something like Jose Suarez and another mid-level prospect.

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2 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

By the way, one of the things I learned at the GM meetings is this guy is definitely available.

I don't know how interested the Angels are or what the prospect cost would be, just that the Braves are open to moving him.

Seems to me he'd be a pretty good fit if they could get him for something like Jose Suarez and another mid-level prospect.

bird in the hand vs 2 in the bush, id do that yesterday even though the 11 mil feels a little more than id like but i guess thats why lower prospect cost

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2 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

By the way, one of the things I learned at the GM meetings is this guy is definitely available.

I don't know how interested the Angels are or what the prospect cost would be, just that the Braves are open to moving him.

Seems to me he'd be a pretty good fit if they could get him for something like Jose Suarez and another mid-level prospect.

That FIP the last to seasons scares me. It feels like his performance could come crashing down at any second. 

Teheran has pitched brilliantly three times in his career, and all three times his BB/9 was sparkling around 2.0 and even then his FIP suggests he was more of a 3.50 ERA sort than low threes sort.

At that rate and price I'd rather just put Suarez in the rotation and see what happens. His last two seasons he's set a career high in BB/9 at least during a full season with 3.4 and 4.3. 

Not just that, his velocity is very clearly trending downward. I'm guessing Teheran is throwing with more effort now than he ever did before just to maintain some velocity and its resulting in more walks. 

Pretty much everything about Julio Teheran right now screams no. 

I'd just promote Suarez and put him in the rotation rather than trade him and another pice for Teheran and add the extra payroll on top of it. 

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4 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

By the way, one of the things I learned at the GM meetings is this guy is definitely available.

I don't know how interested the Angels are or what the prospect cost would be, just that the Braves are open to moving him.

Seems to me he'd be a pretty good fit if they could get him for something like Jose Suarez and another mid-level prospect.

The troublesome thing about him is he was never a hard thrower really and now he's down under 90 MPH with this FB..    His stuff seems to be eroding a tad prematurely...  

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3 hours ago, Second Base said:

That FIP the last to seasons scares me. It feels like his performance could come crashing down at any second. 

Teheran has pitched brilliantly three times in his career, and all three times his BB/9 was sparkling around 2.0 and even then his FIP suggests he was more of a 3.50 ERA sort than low threes sort.

At that rate and price I'd rather just put Suarez in the rotation and see what happens. His last two seasons he's set a career high in BB/9 at least during a full season with 3.4 and 4.3. 

Not just that, his velocity is very clearly trending downward. I'm guessing Teheran is throwing with more effort now than he ever did before just to maintain some velocity and its resulting in more walks. 

Pretty much everything about Julio Teheran right now screams no. 

I'd just promote Suarez and put him in the rotation rather than trade him and another pice for Teheran and add the extra payroll on top of it. 

 

i agree. it also screams, incoming injury, to me.

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11 hours ago, Second Base said:

That FIP the last to seasons scares me. It feels like his performance could come crashing down at any second. 

Teheran has pitched brilliantly three times in his career, and all three times his BB/9 was sparkling around 2.0 and even then his FIP suggests he was more of a 3.50 ERA sort than low threes sort.

At that rate and price I'd rather just put Suarez in the rotation and see what happens. His last two seasons he's set a career high in BB/9 at least during a full season with 3.4 and 4.3. 

Not just that, his velocity is very clearly trending downward. I'm guessing Teheran is throwing with more effort now than he ever did before just to maintain some velocity and its resulting in more walks. 

Pretty much everything about Julio Teheran right now screams no. 

I'd just promote Suarez and put him in the rotation rather than trade him and another pice for Teheran and add the extra payroll on top of it. 

Great, all the more reason for him to come cheaply. Atlanta has tons of SP prospects, and they could use Teheran's salary elsewhere. 

His salary is not exorbitant, and he doesn't need to pitch like an ace, or even a #2 or #3. If he doesn't cost much in terms of prospects, all he has to do is outperform the mess we've had at the back of the rotation the two of the last three seasons. 32 GS, 122 IP, 6.88 ERA, 9 different pitchers.

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13 hours ago, Catwhoshatinthehat said:

In the prime of his career, not a ton of innings on his arm, averaged over 190 innings the last 6 seasons and only committed to a year if it doesn't work out.  Definitely a fan of the Angels trying to get him.

I would prefer to trade for someone like Kyle Gibson, less salary and maybe not much more prospect capital used, being a FA a year from now.

But if they traded for Teheran instead, and signed his catcher Suzuki, I would not be against that.  

He did seem to have a fluke season in hits allowed (only 122 in 175 innings), although I guess it's possible that it is a new tendency for him?

Or further proof of the Erv in him (up one year, down the next)?

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2 hours ago, totdprods said:

Great, all the more reason for him to come cheaply. Atlanta has tons of SP prospects, and they could use Teheran's salary elsewhere. 

His salary is not exorbitant, and he doesn't need to pitch like an ace, or even a #2 or #3. If he doesn't cost much in terms of prospects, all he has to do is outperform the mess we've had at the back of the rotation the two of the last three seasons. 32 GS, 122 IP, 6.88 ERA, 9 different pitchers.

We have 30 million to spend and Eppler intends to spend the majority of it on pitching.  I think the Angels need to set their sights higher than Julio Teheran.  I'd argue that Canning and Suarez are an upgrade there and would cost even less.  Shoot, Sandoval too. 

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Innings eaters that keep you in the game are never a problem in a rotation. Teheran is not sexy top of rotation guy but at least he is durable and pitches just above league average. He would have filled a hell of a hole in the Angels rotation and would be at least a 5 win swing. Not that he's a 5 WAR pitcher but in relation to the flotsam that was sent out to the mound he was head and shoulders better. 

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55 minutes ago, Second Base said:

We have 30 million to spend and Eppler intends to spend the majority of it on pitching.  I think the Angels need to set their sights higher than Julio Teheran.  I'd argue that Canning and Suarez are an upgrade there and would cost even less.  Shoot, Sandoval too. 

I don't really see the value in debating if Canning, Suarez, or Sandoval will be better and/or cheaper than Teheran. They might be, they might not be. 
One thing to consider, of those, only Jose Suarez will be penciled into the Opening Day '19 SP depth as he'll be on the 40-man - and I can't imagine Eppler wants him in the opening day rotation. There's no reason to add Canning or Sandoval now - they won't be added until there's legit need or they hit R5 eligibility.

So while I don't disagree that any of those three aren't options for the rotation, the point of the matter really is that we could use all of them. There's plenty of holes in the rotation, and Teheran's history hints that he is as good a bet as any to give you 30 GS, 180 innings, and at least 4.50 ball. Not great, but a huge improvement over 2/5ths of our rotation last year, and if he pitches to his upside, possibly better than most of our SPs. 

He should come fairly cheap in a trade, all things considered. I still think the Angels need to add two SPs. One by trade, one by FA.

And if he’s really unnecessary midseason, he might pull in a decent prospect in a trade, depending on what kind of year he’s having.

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11 minutes ago, Taylor said:

4.83 and 4.95 FIPs in the last two years. Meh.

Also 32 and 31 GS and 188 and 175 IP last two years. 

If he is only being brought in to anchor #4-#5, he’s a good option depending on the cost. His track record backs up that’s hes capable of that. Who else available is going to be that safe of a bet and come that much cheaper or better? Gio? Lynn? Estrada?

If he’s being brought in to be our #3 or better, yeah there’s a problem. 

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I see him as sort of an Ian Kinsler type solution for the rotation. Safe bet to give you something reasonable, but only a small chance or short stretch where he really plays well.

With that said, I’d only pay a similar cost to what we did with Ian. Two guys who have shown some promise but nothing that hurts too much. Gatto, Lund, Rivas, Molina, MacKinnon, Sanger, Houchins, Hunter, Pena, etc. 

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Ian Kinsler was a solution at 2B because we didn't have anyone else to play the position (outside of Cowart).  But now that we have Fletcher, Rengifo, Jones and even Cozart as potential 2B in the next season or so, the Angels wouldn't trade for him. 

Teheran wouldn't be the Kinsler of the rotation mostly because we have Canning, Suarez and Sandoval all in AA or higher.  Three pitchers capable of stepping in and performing, and that's not not mention Felix Pena either. 

There are a lot of in-house options for the 2019 season for the back end of the rotation. 

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42 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Ian Kinsler was a solution at 2B because we didn't have anyone else to play the position (outside of Cowart).  But now that we have Fletcher, Rengifo, Jones and even Cozart as potential 2B in the next season or so, the Angels wouldn't trade for him. 

Teheran wouldn't be the Kinsler of the rotation mostly because we have Canning, Suarez and Sandoval all in AA or higher.  Three pitchers capable of stepping in and performing, and that's not not mention Felix Pena either. 

There are a lot of in-house options for the 2019 season for the back end of the rotation. 

There is no reason to believe those three can step right in and outperform Teheran, otherwise we’d be looking for help in places other than pitching this offseason. 

Sandoval made a handful of starts in AA, and neither Canning nor Suarez lit up AAA. Furthermore, all three still don’t project to be much more than having mid-rotation upside - Canning maybe a tick higher - so to assume they’ll just walk in and shore up the rotation in April ‘19 is overly ambitious. 

Theyll play a part and help solve the problem, but we need more than them, and Teheran - or Gio, or Lynn, or Happ, or Holland, or Hellickson - would still help fill that need. None of them are really any better or safer than Teheran.

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1 hour ago, totdprods said:

There is no reason to believe those three can step right in and outperform Teheran, otherwise we’d be looking for help in places other than pitching this offseason. 

Sandoval made a handful of starts in AA, and neither Canning nor Suarez lit up AAA. Furthermore, all three still don’t project to be much more than having mid-rotation upside - Canning maybe a tick higher - so to assume they’ll just walk in and shore up the rotation in April ‘19 is overly ambitious. 

Theyll play a part and help solve the problem, but we need more than them, and Teheran - or Gio, or Lynn, or Happ, or Holland, or Hellickson - would still help fill that need. None of them are really any better or safer than Teheran.

Average Major League ERA in 2018: 4.15. 

Average Pacific Coast League ERA: 4.61.

Not to mention countless starting pitchers that went on to major league success after posting less than stellar numbers in the PCL.  

There is EVERY reason to believe that at some point, Griffin Canning is going to be better than Julio Teheran, and if the quality of their arsenal has anything to do with it (which is frequently does), then that year is probably going to be 2018.  

Denying the fact that Teheran can't find the plate frequently, is throwing 90 mph or lower when the majority of his success came at 93 mph, and has posted a FIP nearly at 5.00 for two consecutive seasons now tells me that if I had to decide between....

Julio Teheran (at the cost of Jose Suarez plus another prospect and six million dollars): 4.50 ERA

Griffin Canning and Jose Suarez (money saved, prospects kept) 4.50 ERA

I choose Canning and Suarez every single time.  

There's no way to successfully argue that trading Jose Suarez and another prospect AND adding Teheran's contract is a good idea in 2018.  Diminishing stuff, costs prospects, costs money, all bad things. 

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3 minutes ago, Second Base said:

There's no way to successfully argue that trading Jose Suarez and another prospect AND adding Teheran's contract is a good idea in 2018.  Diminishing stuff, costs prospects, costs money, all bad things. 

Who said anything about trading Suarez for Teheran? There’s no way Eppler trades Suarez for Teheran, and if for some reason he does, then there’s something he really likes about Julio and doesn’t like about José.

Two possible Teheran trades...

1) something like Gatto and Lund - two prospects akin to Kinsler’s Hernández and Montgomery cost who really don’t hurt the Angels future at all, but still have a decent shot at seeing MLB playing time one day. I could see Rivas, Hunter, Molina, Luis Pena, Rivera, Duensing, etc. also fitting the mold.

2) something like Calhoun and Bedrosian, maybe still with one of Gatto/Lund. In this scenario, the Angels are basically swapping some salary from a place where they have other options (a FA RF stopgap until Adell arrives, or a platoon with Herm/vet IF acquisition who also plays some OF, or an unforeseen trade for a RF) for a pitcher with a track record and controlled cost, bypassing bidding on any of the FA 1-yr vet SPs

Neither of those involve Suarez.

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