Like anything, the baseball trade market is all about supply and demand.
If demand is high and supply is low, especially "good" supply, then the teams with those players in demand are going to get an excellent deal.
That is exactly what is going to happen with the Atlanta Braves and Julio Teheran.
After James Shields was dealt earlier this month, the starting pitching trade market has come down to one player: Teheran. Sure, other pitchers could be moved, but at this moment in time, it appears that Teheran is going to be the hot item at the non waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1.
Teams, most notably the Boston Red Sox, are already scouting Teheran's starts, trying to get an early jump on the young right-hander. Other teams are expected to jump into the sweepstakes in the coming weeks.
The only problem is that the Braves are not interested in trading Teheran at this time.
General manager John Coppolella took to Twitter on Friday to discuss his team's plans with the fans.
Coppolella said that he does not "see us trading Teheran right now."
That is not the right mindset, especially considering the starting pitching market, or lack thereof, at this moment in time and Teheran's contract status. Both these factors give the Braves a reason to at least listen to deals on Teheran and not just rule out a trade outright.
Teheran's value could not be higher. He's having a career year, having pitched to a 2.46 ERA in 16 starts this season. While these are phenomenal results, pitching metrics such as FIP (3.68) and xFIP (4.00) suggest that Teheran is due for some regression and is more of a league-average pitcher.
In 2015, Teheran was more of that type of pitcher. His ERA of 4.04 was more in line with his FIP (4.40) and xFIP (4.19). If that's the pitcher he truly is, the Braves should want to dump him now, knowing that they could get way more than what he is actually worth in return.
Part of the reason for Teheran's success is that hitters have just a .209 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against him. This shows that he's been extremely lucky with the defense behind him, something that surely cannot be sustained going forward. Teheran's career BABIP against is .270.
An argument for keeping Teheran is his contract status.
Teheran, who is just 25, is signed through 2019 and owed just $25.3 million in future commitments. He also has an option for 2020 at $12 million with $1 million buyout.
With the Braves hoping to contend in 2017 or 2018, Teheran will still likely be there with them if Atlanta decides not to move him. However, it is unlikely he still will be pitching like an ace, the way he is now.
His contract could be looked in the other way too. Teheran has more teams salivating for him due to his long-term contract status.
This is like what happened with Cole Hamels' trade market last year. The Rangers acquired Hamels from the Phillies not to contend in 2015, but to contend in 2016 and beyond because of his long-term contract status. (Though, the Rangers did end up going on a tear in the second half of the season and made the playoffs anyway.)
By Teheran not being a rental, his market is opened up to really any team in Major League Baseball.
With his value as high as it is, and the supply of starting pitching being as low as it is, the Braves need to strongly consider shopping Julio Teheran during the trade deadline season over the next month.
On Friday, I appeared on a new podcast run by Bobby Manning, a soon-to-be Syracuse student who lives for sports. The podcast, called The Bobcast, airs every Friday at 6 PM Eastern, so be sure to check it out.
Here's a directlink to my appearance. I discussed how I started my website, the youth movement in baseball, sabermetrics and much more. Be sure to check it out.
You can also download Manning's podcast on iTunes.
If you go back to the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft, you'll find names like Sebastian Kessay, Alex Swim and Nolan Earley.
You'll find one Major Leaguer, Layne Somsen, picked 675th overall by the Cincinnati Reds out of South Dakota State. Somsen just made his MLB debut on May 14.
Twenty-one of these players came out of college, six out of high school, and the other three out of junior college.
One of these 22nd rounders is Ben Heller, a right-handed pitcher out of Olivet Nazarene University in the Cleveland Indians' system.
Heller has a fastball that reaches 100 miles per hour (MPH). He also signed for just $2,500.
Below is my Top 100 Big Board for the 2016 Draft. This is not a mock draft, and it does not take bonus demands into consideration. If you have questions about any of my rankings, or about players who were not included, you can either comment or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Zack's Top 20 pitchers and position players with more in-depth scouting reports on these players.
--Zack Silverman, special to CoverThoseBases.com.
Zack Silverman is currently a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech, where he is working towards a statistics degree. He scouts the Virginia Tech baseball team and its opponents in his free time, doing his own write-ups on the players he sees. As an aspiring scout, he also does extensive work with the MLB Draft. In high school, he was a captain on the 2015 Virginia 6A State Champion Madison Warhawks, where he played outfield and earned two varsity letters. He has also worked as a private hitting coach for local youth, and competed in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition at the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Check out Zack's Top 20 position players in the 2016 MLB Draft here.
High school arms are the strength of this draft, and we see that with nine of the first sixteen of the players on this list coming from the prep ranks. The college arms have been largely disappointing this season, but quite a few have taken big steps forward this year to put themselves in first round conversations. Here are the top 20 arms.
1. LHP Jason Groome (Barnegat HS, NJ)
It would be tough to argue that Groome is not the most talented player in this year’s draft. The consensus is pretty much set on him. He throws a mid-90’s fastball, a devastating curveball, and a decent changeup, all from a very simple, repeatable delivery. The 6’6” left hander is also extremely young for his class, as he won’t turn 18 until August 23rd. All these positives scream “first overall pick,” but I have heard repeated concerns about his makeup and work ethic from multiple sources (and for different reasons, too), leading me to believe there is a chance he burns out and never reaches his potential. However, he is extremely young, and he has plenty of time to mature. I have heard numerous Clayton Kershaw comparisons, though Groome likely will never have Kershaw’s world-famous curveball. Groome is committed to Vanderbilt.
2. RHP Riley Pint (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, KS)
For some reason, the state of Kansas decided to crank out its best high school baseball players all in the same year, and Riley Pint leads that attack. A projectable, 6’4” right hander with an electric arm, he has an outside chance at becoming the first right handed high school pitcher in history to go first overall. To call his arm electric would be an understatement, and I think Scott Coleman over at SB Nation said it best when he described Pint’s pitches as “lightning bolts.” Pint sits in the mid to upper 90’s with his fastball, reaching as high as 102 (!!!). We haven’t seen an arm like this since Tyler Kolek went second overall in 2014, and Pint is of the same caliber. His curveball is inconsistent, but flashes plus with its two plane break. His changeup may be his best secondary offering, as it has both the typical tumble as well as significant armside fade. He struggles with command now due to a difficult to repeat, high three quarters delivery, but if he can harness all of his stuff, we may have a Felix Hernandez on our hands. Pint is committed to Louisiana State.
3. LHP A.J. Puk (University of Florida)
Puk is clearly the top college arm in this draft, and college arms typically do well on draft day. Scouts love the polish, signability, and ability to move through the minors quickly that generally come with this type of player. Mark Appel (2013), Gerrit Cole (2011), Stephen Strasburg (2009), and David Price (2007) have all been recent college arms that became first overall picks, and there is a very good chance the Puk is next in line. I find it very unlikely that he falls to number six, but this is not a mock draft, and this is where I rank him. Puk is 6’7”, left handed, and throws in the upper 90’s with a devastating disappearing slider. He’s working on a changeup, though he’s relied mostly on that fastball/slider combination. Unfortunately, his command is less than stellar, leading to a lack of performance in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the premier conference in college baseball. His command issues likely stem from two sources; his long levers (remember, he’s 6’7”) that he looks like he is still growing into, as well as a kink in his delivery where he reaches all the way down past his belt before coming back up and throwing.
4. RHP Forrest Whitley (Alamo Heights HS, TX)
After Groome and Pint, there are many players contending for the number three high school pitcher, including Ian Anderson, Braxton Garrett, Matt Manning, and Joey Wentz. While most sources opt for Anderson or Garrett, I personally like Whitley. The 6’7” right hander has really grown into his frame this year, dialing his fastball into the mid 90’s with downhill plane and lateral cutting action. His curveball jumps out of his hand at this point, but it is a big breaker with serious 12-6 movement. If he can refine it even a little bit, it will be at least a plus pitch. He has also shown the ability to toss a solid changeup with some fade. Lastly, he gets bonus points for his name. Whitley is committed to Florida State.
5. RHP Dakota Hudson (Mississippi State)
Coming into this spring, Hudson was a high profile arm who had failed to produce any kind of results or consistency out of the Mississippi State bullpen during his freshman (4.67 ERA, 10/8 K/BB) and sophomore (4.32 ERA, 26/11 K/BB) seasons. Scouts loved the big arm and plus stuff, but he had never proven himself as a reliever, let alone as a starting pitcher. He answered all of those questions in 2016 (2.29 ERA, 101/29 K/BB as of this write-up), dominating SEC competition with his mid 90’s fastball, a power slider in the upper 80’s, and an up and coming curveball and changeup. Even the curve flashes plus at times. The only thing keeping Hudson from ranking even higher is his lack of a track record beyond 2016. Of course, Hudson gets a 70 in the all-important name-tool category.