In addition to those small moves with Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers, the Braves made a slightly more significant one in declining the 2020 option for starter Julio Teherán, making him a free agent.
Teheran, who has been a Brave since his debut in 2011, was 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA (119 ERA+) in 2019. For the second straight year he posted an 8.3 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9 while pitching exactly one inning less this year — 174.2 — than last. You kinda know what you’re gonna get with him. Some rough outings in which he’s shelled early alternating, more or less, with stretches of fairly solid mid-to-back-of-the-rotation performance. That ERA in 2019 certainly feels deceptive. When you watch him — and when you dig into the peripheral numbers — you begin to feel like there’s a little less there than meets the eye.
Teherán is a guy who belongs on a big league staff but who the Braves don’t believe will be worth the $12 million that option they declined would’ve paid him. Now anyone can sign him.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).