The Braves announced today that they have declined options over righty Julio Teheran and center fielder Billy Hamilton. In other news, the club made a qualifying offer to third baseman Josh Donaldson.
In Teheran’s case — the most interesting one of the three — the club will pay a $1MM buyout rather than picking up the option at $12MM. It isn’t entirely surprising to see that the Braves are ready to move on from the long-time rotation stalwart, but it had been possible to imagine the team exercising the option and then trading him.
Teheran has never been the ace that some once expected him to be. But he has generally been quite effective, with a 3.67 lifetime ERA and sub-4.00 marks in each of the past two campaigns. And Teheran has been freakishly durable, scarcely missing a single outing and averaging 191 innings since his first full season in 2013.
It’s debatable just how much interest Teheran will draw on the open market. But it’s plenty possible to imagine teams considering multi-year offers. Beyond his excellent health record, Teheran is still just 28 years of age.
As for Hamilton, claimed off waivers in August, there was never any chance his mutual option would be exercised by the team at a $7.5MM price tag. He’ll take a $1MM buyout with him as he goes back onto the open market.
It was equally obvious that Donaldson would receive the $17.8MM qualifying offer at $17.8MM. The Braves paid him more than that for one season already and got everything they bargained for. There’s no question Donaldson will turn down the offer and take to free agency.