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Braves rumors: 'sensible move' would be to deal Arodys Vizcaino

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Instead of dealing Julio Teheran, it could make more sense for the Braves to part with their closer.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are selling any available assets that they deem to be expendable. So far, that has omitted Freddie Freeman from trade rumors. Their top starting pitcher, Julio Teheran, has made his way into some trade rumors, but it would reportedly take a 'big haul' in return. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, it would make more sense for the Braves to be shopping their closer, Arodys Vizcaino instead.

Rosenthal brings up some excellent points on the matter. Most importantly, Teheran is only 25 years old and "under team control through 2020." Furthermore, for the next four seasons, he will only cost a cumulative $37.3 million. He's not only cost-controlled, he's cost effective to retain.

The other reason for keeping him is similar to the reason for keeping Freeman: the Braves could plausibly be good again while these players are still under contract in close to their prime. It absolutely makes sense for the Braves to demand a big haul for their star pitcher. Teheran is putting up career-best numbers in some important categories and if the team decides to deal him later, the chances of him getting worse in his age-26 or 27 seasons--typically prime years--are slim.

Instead then, Rosenthal suggests making Vizcaino available. The 25-year old right-hander is arbitration-eligible through the 2019 season and would also come with substantial cost-control. As Rosenthal points out though, his worth might be diminished on the trade market due to Tommy John surgery in 2012 and a performance-enhancing drug suspension to begin the 2015 season.

In 2016, Vizcaino has saved seven games in nine opportunities. In his 29.1 innings pitched, he has struck out 41 batters and given up seven earned runs on 23 hits and 13 walks. While that walk rate is less than ideal, Vizcaino's strikeout rate ranks in the top-20 among qualified relievers and his 17 percent whiff rate ranks him eighth overall.

So, while Rosenthal is right to suggest that Vizcaino wouldn't bring back "the same return as Ken Giles," the Braves should be able to form a substantial queue to acquire his services. Relievers are routinely a hot topic near the trade deadline and if Vizcaino is indeed made to be available, he could end up being the best name out there.

Most recently, both the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants have been linked to reliever trade rumors.