Ten days after locking up star first baseman Freddie Freeman with a contract extension, the Atlanta Braves have handed out another long-term deal, this one to 23-year-old starter Julio Teheran. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the contract is for six years and $32.4 million.
That puts Teheran at an average annual value of $5.4 million over the course of the next six years. The Braves will also have a team option for 2020, right before Teheran's age 30 season.
If Teheran pitches anything like he did in 2013 for the majority of his contract, it could be looked at as a tremendous bargain. After struggling for two seasons with the label as a top prospect, Teheran finally broke out in 2013 with a 3.20 ERA across 185 2/3 innings. He has excellent stuff and now has proven he can pitch at an elite level in the majors.
A decent comparison may be the extension the Nationals gave Gio Gonzalez prior to the 2012 season. The Nats handed Gio a five-year, $42 million deal after he went 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA in 2011. He was 25 at the time and coming off two excellent years. They locked him up long before he was set to hit free agency and it has since paid off.
Now Teheran gets a little less after going 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA. The deal for Gonzalez has looked great for the Nationals in the two years since it was signed, Atlanta hopes for the same with Teheran. He sure looked like a budding star this past season, we'll see if their decision pays off.