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MLB trade rumors: Braves could listen on Julio Teheran

Does trading your 26-year-old ace make sense for a rebuilding team?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Oakland Athletics Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline nears, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is reporting that the Atlanta Braves ‘could listen’ to trade offers for starting pitcher Julio Teheran.

According to Heyman, calls have already been made to the Braves about the right hander, and the team is listening to all offers. If Teheran is indeed on the trading block, he would likely join the top tier group of starters who could be on the move this month, including Sonny Gray and Jose Quintana.

Teheran’s current value would likely be high despite his struggles in 2017. He currently holds a 5.14 ERA, well above his career ERA of 3.57. However, his performance on the road has been stellar (5-0 with a 2.88 ERA), with most of his problems occurring within the confines of SunTrust Park, the Braves new stadium which has proven to be very hitter-friendly so far.

The 26-year-old is currently under a six-year, $32.4 million contract that expires after the 2019 season (with a team option for 2020), so he wouldn’t be a rental to anyone that would make a trade for him. The Astros, Cubs and Yankees will likely be on the prowl for starting pitching at the trade deadline, and could be potential landing spots, with Houston already having reached out to Atlanta on the righty.

Teheran has two All-Star selections to his credit and has had noticeable success with a franchise that has mostly been at the bottom of the NL East in recent years. He could simply be experiencing a down year and other teams are trying to gauge his value. The Braves also could just be doing their jobs and listening to what offers come their way, even if they aren’t intent on trading him.

The Braves are currently second in the NL East, but have little-to-no shot of catching the Nationals. However, their crop of young talent is evolving quicker than anticipated, and the future looks bright in Atlanta. Would trading their best starting pitcher, who is still in his mid-twenties, make sense right now?