Teheran, Angels finalize 1-year contract

December 21st, 2019

Intent on upgrading their starting rotation, the Angels on Saturday announced a one-year deal with free-agent right-hander that was first reported on Thursday. The deal is worth $9 million, a source told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club hasn't confirmed the value of the deal.

Teheran, 28, reached double figures in victories in five of his seven full seasons with the Braves, with whom he has spent his entire professional career. Teheran has been one of the game’s most durable starters in recent years. He is one of only six pitchers to record at least 170 innings in each of the past seven seasons, and one of four to make at least 30 starts in each, along with Mike Leake, Jon Lester and José Quintana.

The Angels welcome such productivity from Teheran, who is projected to immediately vault toward the top of their rotation. Los Angeles’ starters ranked last in the American League with a 5.64 ERA in 2019, nearly a full run above the league average of 4.76. Moreover, nobody in the Angels’ ‘19 rotation made more than 18 starts or exceeded 102 1/3 innings. The Angels dearly want to complement their acquisition of offensive dynamo with a move or two that strengthens their pitching.

Teheran joins fellow offseason acquisition in attempting to bolster a group of starters that could also include , and , as well as two-way star , who is attempting a return to the mound from Tommy John surgery.

Teheran, who owns a 77-73 record and a 3.67 ERA (110 ERA+), signed a six-year, $32.4 million extension in 2014, months before he was named to his first National League All-Star team. He was also an All-Star in ‘16. His annual salary topped out at $11.2 million this year. The Braves declined to pick up a $12 million option on his contract on Nov. 4, electing instead to pay him a $1 million buyout and cast him into free agency.

Since posting a personal-worst 4.49 ERA in 2017, Teheran rebounded with ERAs of 3.94 and 3.81 (119 ERA+) in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 33 starts in ‘19, Teheran was 10-11 with 162 strikeouts and 83 walks in 174 2/3 innings. Teheran’s 11 percent walk rate was fourth-highest among MLB pitchers (minimum 100 innings), and his 1.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio was 10th lowest.

Teheran has made four postseason appearances, all against the Dodgers. He made a forgettable start in Game 3 of the 2013 NL Division Series, surrendering six runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings while absorbing the decision in Atlanta’s 13-6 defeat. He also relieved in three outings spanning the '18 and '19 NLDS.