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Inbox: Will Teheran be dealt before Deadline?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from Braves fans
July 27, 2017

What kind of return could the Braves get for Julio Teheran? -- @Chris_tocentricAs I've mentioned within previous Inboxes, it's probably best to ask somebody else when it might be an optimal time to trade Teheran. Every time I'm ready to say the Braves should deal him before his trade value

What kind of return could the Braves get for Julio Teheran?
-- @Chris_tocentric

As I've mentioned within previous Inboxes, it's probably best to ask somebody else when it might be an optimal time to trade Teheran. Every time I'm ready to say the Braves should deal him before his trade value sinks beyond repair, he manages to produce an encouraging streak like his current one. Teheran has displayed a livelier fastball during each of his past four starts, and in the process, he's caught the attention of some teams looking to add a middle-of-the-rotation piece for the playoff push.
Even though the starting-pitching market is thin, I don't expect Atlanta will be overwhelmed enough by an offer to move Teheran prior to Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If this past month has been a sign of things to come, the right-hander could further enhance his value and create the possibility of warranting an even greater return if he were to be traded this offseason.
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Do the Braves have a chance to land Sonny Gray?
-- @CharlieBateman2

When the Braves gained $4.7 million worth of savings by trading Jaime Garcia to the Twins, it was easy to identify Gray as their most likely target in the search for a controllable starter. Once Jose Quintana was dealt to Cubs and the Rays maintained reason to keep Chris Archer for their own playoff push, Gray stood as the lone attractive option on this market.
Consequently, the demand for Gray has significantly enhanced the likely cost of acquisition. All of the pitching-hungry playoff clubs have at least evaluated the market for this 27-year-old right-hander, who can be controlled via arbitration for two more seasons. When it's all said and done, the ante will likely exceed Atlanta's comfort zone.
Looking toward next season, the Braves can pencil Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb and Teheran in their rotation. R.A. Dickey has pitched effectively enough over the past month to warrant exercising his $8 million option. There's also reason to believe Mike Soroka, the club's No. 5 prospect, might be ready to join Atlanta's rotation as early as Opening Day.
Throw in the fact that Lucas Sims, Luiz Gohara and Kolby Allard could also factor into next year's rotation plans, and you gain reason to wonder why the Braves are in the market for a controllable starter. The simple answer is in order to enhance their bid to be legit playoff contenders next year, they would like to add another legit front-line starter to pair with Foltynewicz, who has established himself as the club's ace.
Yeah, you hope at least a couple of these rising pitching prospects live up to expectations and prove to be a legit front-line starter within the next couple of seasons. You also hope Teheran eventually proves consistent enough to be considered a front-line starter. But in the meantime, it at least makes sense to evaluate the possibility of addressing immediate needs with guys who have already established value at the big league level.
Do you think the Braves have changed their mindset on dealing Matt Adams before the Deadline?
-- @chaseowens96

While the Braves have indicated they aren't aggressively shopping Adams, the length of his tenure in Atlanta is dependent on whether the club feels offers received before Monday could trump those that could be received in the offseason, when more suitors might come into play as teams reconstruct their rosters.
Since batting .298 with 12 homers and a 1.009 OPS through his first 31 games for the Braves, Adams has hit .256 with three homers and a .751 OPS over the 24 games that have followed. He still provides value to a playoff contender looking for a legit left-handed power hitter who has tallied four career postseason homers (including one apiece against Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner). But if Adams continues his recent trend, the current potential return might trump what could be gained this offseason.
The biggest trade assets we have are Teheran, Adams, Brandon Phillips, Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis. How many of these players will be traded before the Deadline?
-- @psymons2

Though Ronald Acuna is fast-tracking his way toward the Majors and could possibly be in the mix to begin next season, I don't think the Braves will attempt to move Kemp or Markakis until the offseason. As for Phillips, he has drawn some interest and Atlanta has certainly attempted to move him. But Phillips' market is thin and the partial no-trade clause in his control further depletes the number of potential suitors. If I had to guess right now, I'd say he'll still be wearing a Braves uniform on Aug. 1.
Does Aaron Blair have a future in Atlanta? Are his problems correctable or is it time to move on?
-- @rodneykesler

We saw Blair miss bats as he gained a feel for his breaking ball during the 10-strikeout performance he had against the Tigers last year. We also saw him get 11 swings and misses within the 26 sliders he threw during Wednesday's three-inning effort against the D-backs. There's reason to question Blair's value as a big league starter, but I wouldn't give up on the possibility he could become an effective reliever.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.