Set to turn 27 in January, Teheran is coming off the worst full season of his professional career by most statistical measures. While he continued to demonstrate durability with his fifth straight season of 185 or more innings, Teheran saw his strikeout, walk and home-run rates all trend in the wrong direction. In 188 1/3 innings, he averaged 7.2 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 with an ugly 1.48 HR/9 mark en route to a 4.49 ERA. That ERA was the highest of his career, and metrics like FIP (4.95), xFIP (4.96) and SIERA (4.89) actually painted an even more troublesome picture.
Teheran did pitch better away from the newly constructed and homer-friendly SunTrust Park, though the discrepancy between his performance wasn’t quite as large as his 5.86 home ERA and 3.14 road ERA would suggest at first glance. His K/BB numbers and batted-ball profile were all relatively similar, but he enjoyed an unsustainable 83.7 percent strand rate on the road that helped to buoy his bottom-line run prevention numbers. On the plus side, Teheran is nowhere near the top of the leaderboard for average exit velocity or number of 95+ mph balls yielded, as measured by Statcast, so perhaps there’s some hope for better fortune with the long ball in 2018 and beyond.
He’ll have plenty of time to work on reestablishing himself as a quality mid-rotation piece moving ahead, as Teheran is still under contract through at least the 2019 season thanks to the six-year, $32.4MM contract he inked prior to the 2014 campaign. He’s slated to earn $8MM in 2018 and $11MM in 2019, and that contract contains a $12MM option ($1MM buyout) for the 2020 season as well. Even if the Braves — or a team to which he’s theoretically traded — exercise the option, Teheran would still hit the open market as a 29-year-old on the brink of his age-30 campaign.
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