Monday, December 14, 2015

If the Atlanta Braves Keep Selling…. Again

We have been doing a series of these posts showcasing the teams that are seemingly selling off players in hopes of a rebuild. Teams like the Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves have been showcases already and I feel the need to come full circle and showcase the Braves specifically once again. The first post was focused around a possible acquisition of RHP Shelby Miller, who ultimately went to the Arizona Diamondbacks for an absolute haul that the Yankees were not going to touch, so this time around I figured we’d focus on the pitching side of things. What about Julio Teheran?

The Braves don’t have much more they can really sell at this point. Andrelton Simmons is gone, Miller is gone, Cameron Maybin is gone, Mike Minor is gone and I’m sure I’m missing a few from this offseason. Left are recognizable names like Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Nick Swisher but the man that may intrigue the Yankees the most would be Teheran. Teheran is a 24-year old right-handed starting pitcher with four years left of team control. Teheran has shown flashes of brilliance in his young MLB career and may have ace written all over his forehead in the coming years.

I can’t see a Nick Swisher reunion making much sense for the Yankees now, especially without a Brett Gardner trade. Swisher can play the outfield and first base adequately and is a switch hitter but absolutely does not fit into the mold of the team getting younger or less expensive. The same can be said for Freeman, especially the expensive part. Freeman is obviously younger than incumbent first baseman Mark Teixeira but would only block up-and-coming prospect Greg Bird from taking over the position full time in 2017 making a trade for him both redundant and unnecessary. Markakis fits the mold of Swisher as well, the Yankees could use a younger right fielder but without a clear “out” for Carlos Beltran I just can’t see it happening. Even if New York did trade Gardner or Beltran I could see Aaron Hicks getting the shot with Dustin Ackley serving as the 4th outfielder before I’d see another trade or free agent signing. Teheran it is then!

Teheran would slip into the #2 hole behind Masahiro Tanaka quite well in my opinion and would give the Yankees one of the best starting rotations in all of the American League. I can’t think of, off the top of my head anyway, a better 4th and 5th starter than Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi plus Luis Severino makes a damn good #3 pitcher at this point in his career. It may not work for New York, mind you, because it seems like Atlanta could trade their bat boy for two top prospects right now (how in the world are they getting so much for everyone in every single trade?) but it’s worth the phone call in my opinion. 

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