The trade buzz surrounding the Atlanta Braves continues to grow exponentially. The new juicy rumors we are now getting are that the Braves discussed an A.J. Pollock-Shelby Miller trade with Arizona, but the talks went nowhere. Now other teams reportedly have interest in Miller, and that should come as no surprise. There will likely be whispers all winter long surrounding our two young talented, cost-controlled starters in Miller and Julio Teheran. Sure, any player can be moved at the right price, but it better be damn high to lure one of the two away from Atlanta.
Both Miller and Teheran have made All-Star games in their young careers, and they both just concluded their age 24 seasons. This practically makes them prospects when you consider that Jace Peterson is a year older than the both of them. Both of these guys are about to enter their primes, and they can make for an incredible 1-2 punch for Atlanta.
Miller was just acquired by the Braves last offseason in the deal that sent Jason Heyward to St. Louis. Don’t let the 17 losses fool you, Shelby is our ace. He had a historically bad season when it came to run support, and while the lineup still looks bad on paper, there’s simply no way he could be that unlucky again. I expect him to continue to improve his game, and I think he will have a significantly better MLB career than A.J. Pollock when it’s all said and done.
After making his first All-Star appearance in 2014, Julio Teheran finally experienced some setbacks last season. He clearly had some road jitters, but was absolutely dominant at home. I’ll be the first to admit I had some concerns regarding Teheran but the way he finished off his season put any worries of mine to rest. In September and October of this season, he finished with a 1.62 ERA in six starts. Again, Teheran is just 24 years old. He was bound to have some speed bumps along the way at some point, but it looks like his issues are in the rearview mirror.
Both players have extremely team-friendly contracts that will still be intact when the Braves moe into Suntrust Park. Reports are coming out saying we should have a top 10 budget by then, so it’s not out of the question to think they can stay in Braves uniforms long-term.
I get many fans’ reasoning for possibly wanting to trade one of the two for bats. We have a stocked farm with arms right? Indeed we do. However, none of the prospects in our system, even the newly acquired Sean Newcomb, have been as highly touted prospects as Miller and Teheran were. Both have peaked as top 5 prospects in the MLB, and pitchers like that don’t grow on trees. These guys need to be our 1-2 punch, and core for the future. Yes, at some point we are going to have to flip pitching for hitting. But we have other ammunition. It should NOT be Teheran or Miller. Both of these guys can be #1 starters in this league, and having both does not bode well for NL East lineups in the coming years. We have seen how teams like the Astros and Cubs rebuilt themselves relatively fast using high draft picks. Having two frontline starters can help the Braves get back to their winning ways sooner than later and the rebuild unfolds. Moving them is not the answer.