Earlier today, Jon Heyman reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a minor league deal with 31-year-old Julio Teheran.
Incentives and rewards could bump the contract up to $6 million in 2023 should he see time with the big league club.
Teheran last pitched in the majors with the Detroit Tigers in 2021. He made six starts with the Staten Island Ferryhawks in 2022 of the Atlantic League, pitching to a 1.60 ERA across 33 ⅔ innings.
Though a low-risk contract for the Padres, as they essentially will spend close to nothing if Teheran doesn’t even break the big leagues, this does provide San Diego with some level of insurance in the pitching staff.
Teheran logged 170+ innings of work from 2013 to 2019, including two years of 200+ innings and five of 180+ innings. He was an all-star twice with the Atlanta Braves and has a career 3.65 ERA with the club, serving as a top-of-the-rotation arm for them throughout his tenure.
In regards to what he’s working with on the mound, Teheran doesn’t fit the mold of today’s traditional starter. He doesn’t throw particularly hard and relies on a sinker/slider mix to induce weak contact. It’s not the avenue that most starting pitchers are working with nowadays, especially with the shift ban, but San Diego’s formidable defensive infield group could aid Teheran in that regard.
The top of the Padres’ pitching staff is excellent, and the back end was solidified greatly when the team brought Nick Martinez back a few weeks ago. They’re certainly still in the market for another starting pitcher, but with the age and bulk of innings this team handled last year, it’s almost a guarantee that depth arms will be called upon to make starts at times in 2023.
Teheran joins a group of Ryan Weathers, Jay Groome, Reis Knehr, Adrian Morejon, and others who could make an appearance or two for San Diego next season. It’s a low-risk, medium-reward move from this front office that bolsters depth in the game’s most important unit.