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Would the Cardinals consider a Julio Teheran-type deal?

This is the third of my series comparing recent actions of the Atlanta Braves to the St. Louis Cardinals. Atlanta had typically seemed to hold back in locking down young players from their arbitration years into early free agency. That has changed with the extensions given to first baseman Freddie Freeman, starting pitcher Julio Teheran and closer Craig Kimbrel.

I see all three deals as having implications to the St. Louis Cardinals, at least indirectly. I started with Kimbrel, followed with Freeman and conclude with Teheran.

On Valentine’s Day, the Braves announced they and Teheran had come to terms on a six-year contract, covering the 2014-2019 seasons, plus a club option for 2020. The base deal is for $32.4 million, with a $12 million salary or $1 million buyout for the option year.

What made this so striking is the fact that the Colombian native has less than two seasons of MLB service time – comparable to where Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are sitting today. Teheran’s contract will cover either one or two of his free agent-eligible seasons.

The Cardinals already have long-term contracts in place with starters Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia. Michael Wacha is a year behind and Lance Lynn is a year ahead. The latter will almost certainly become first-time arbitration-eligible following the 2014 season.

What should the Cardinals do, if anything?

The Wainwright deal is golden, but was signed later on as he was nearing free agency. Garcia needs to come on to make his numbers work out over the long haul.

Even if the Cards wait a year, would it be the right time to invest in Miller or Rosenthal over a six-year period? They would still be one year away from arbitration. Note that Wainwright’s contract is the only five-year deal for a pitcher in team history. Six years would be uncharted water for the Cardinals.

How would it be perceived by Lynn if he was passed over? (Think of the Allen CraigDavid Freese situation a year ago. Craig received the extension. Freese did not, and the latter was traded months later following a lackluster season.)

So, what do you think?

As the Cardinals GM, would you try to do a Teheran-style deal?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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5 Responses to “Would the Cardinals consider a Julio Teheran-type deal?”

  1. Nutlaw says:

    I like to see the Cardinals lock up their homegrown players long-term, but pitchers are much more risky than batters, particularly hard throwing pitchers who rely upon their velocity to get by. That velocity starts to drop significantly before one gets terribly old…

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    The risk of long contracts to pitchers is illustrated with Mulder and Garcia. Jaime needed a shoulder op and there is no assurance that he will ever get back to where he was, just as Mulder never returned to action. Kyle McClellan was a terrific reliever and had a bright future, until he had a shoulder injury and now he is out of baseball. Should we have give him a long term deal? The team is financially better off not to have done so.
    There is no rush to hand out long term obligations to pitchers. Pitchers are still at risk of injury in years 5 and 6. A team can go with annual contracts for four or five years, then offer a deal to extend out thru some of free agency years. This can give a pitcher a lot of financial security, so an offer will often be accepted, even as he nears free agency. Its hard to see the benefit for the team in offering long deals to Rosenthal or Miller when they are under our control for years to come.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    The Tigers have lost SS Iglesias to injury. Would they like to fill the vacancy by trading for Super Pete?

    • crdswmn says:

      Don’t inhale next time, Jumbo.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Last summer, Mo turned RHR Boggs into a couple of hundred thousand of cap for signing international amateurs. Mo turned LHR Rzepcynski into SS Herrera. Skip Schumaker became SS Lemmerman. We like to look to the future and obtain a bit of value.
        With Kozma, we can station him at Memphis to work on making contact and reducing strikeouts. Since we have Greg Garcia too, we might be willing to part with Pete if another team becomes needy at SS. CF Shane Robinson is another asset we might trade.

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