Coppolella says he won't trade Teheran

Braves hope to build rotation around young righty

Coppolella says he won't trade Teheran

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran will continue to draw interest from teams looking to add a frontline starting pitcher before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But Braves general manager John Coppolella contends he will not be influenced to trade his All-Star pitcher.

"I have told about 12 different general managers we aren't moving [Teheran]," Coppolella said. "We have gotten some hits on some other starting pitchers and we've got to at least listen. But I think young pitching for us is what we're trying to build around."

Though Teheran struggled through most of the 2015 season, he has posted a 2.51 ERA over the 25 starts he has made dating back to Sept. 1. A few guys named Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner are the only qualified Major Leaguers who have compiled a better ERA within this span.

Add in the fact that Teheran is a 25-year-old pitcher who is owed an average of $9.3 million over the next four seasons and it's easy to see why some playoff-caliber teams want to add him to their rotation before the Trade Deadline.

If the Braves were to trade Teheran, they may gain one of those power bats they need to add in the future. But at the same time, they would be parting ways with an economically efficient pitcher who can stabilize the front of Atlanta's rotations as Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler and the organization's next wave of highly regarded starting pitching prospects reach the big league level.

The Braves will attempt to satisfy their immediate need for power hitters during the upcoming offseason, when they are expected to benefit from a significant payroll increase. Thus, it seems more likely that Coppolella will spend the next week attempting to move some veterans who might draw interest elsewhere.

The Royals are among the teams that have shown some interest in right fielder Nick Markakis, whose future in Atlanta is clouded by the fact that the Braves could enter 2017 with two other left-handed hitting outfielders (Ender Inciarte and Mallex Smith) who have limited power potential.

Given that Markakis has slugged just .366 this season, the Braves would almost certainly have to eat a portion of the $22 million he is owed through 2018 in order to trade him.

Unless Atlanta is blown away by an offer for Jeff Francoeur, they will likely keep him for the remainder of this season and quite possibly re-sign him for 2017. The Braves want Francoeur's leadership skills to continue to enrich their clubhouse, which will continue to get younger as Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies and other young prospects reach the big league level before the end of this season.

While it seems more likely that Erick Aybar would be released before the Braves could find a team willing to trade for him, Coppolella may be able to gain at least a mid-level prospect for Jim Johnson, Gordon Beckham or Chase d'Arnaud.

Coppolella has also fielded calls from at least three teams that have shown interest in adding Lucas Harrell, who seemed destined to spend this season with Triple-A Gwinnett before he was added to Atlanta's rotation as an emergency replacement on July 2. A return for Harrell would mirror what the Braves gained when they quickly flipped Jhoulys Chacin earlier this season.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.