There’s a good possibility that the Atlanta Braves have put more faith into Andrelton Simmons and Julio Teheran than Craig Kimbrel and Jason Heyward.
Everyone knows about the deal going on between the team and Kimbrel. The team is not going to want to pay him what he will be due in 2014 and 2015 through arbitration. The Braves also don’t believe they will be able to sign Kimbrel to a long-term contract due to the amount of the money that he knows he can end up getting in other places. Therefore, the team will most likely shop the best reliever in the game during the summer.
Heyward, on the other hand, extended his stay in Atlanta to two more years. However, by the time those two years run out, he will probably demand money that the team will not want to spend on a guy that has not hit above .280 during the time that he spent in Atlanta. So after 2015, Heyward will most likely be headed to another franchise.
The two players that have been rumored to be in talks with the team are Simmons and Teheran. These two moves would make more sense than signing Kimbrel and Heyward to huge money.
Simmons has a glove at shortstop that allowed him to finish in the top 15 in the MVP voting last season, and there’s a good chance his bat will come around to hit .260-.275 in 2014. He makes his pitchers better on a game-to-game basis, and he is just as much of an asset to this team as Kimbrel or Heyward.
Teheran is the player that the Braves will most likely be able to lock up first. He is just 23-years old, and in his first full season in the big leagues, he won 14 games and had an ERA of 3.20. Barring a sophomore slump, Teheran is likely to become an ace on this staff in the next two seasons. He could be signed to a 4-5 year deal to avoid any arbitration hearings and as a show of faith in his worth to Atlanta.