The Braves just locked up Freddie Freeman through 2018 and Jason Heyward through his remaining arbitration years. Now, the team might try to do the same with shortstop Andrelton Simmons and pitcher Julio Teheran, as the New York Post's Joel Sherman reports.
Securing deals with their best players has been one of the Braves tactics in avoiding the arbitration panel. Since they're a strict "file-and-trial team," they don't negotiate one-year deals after the deadline for exchanging figures has passed.
Some clubs have avoided this strategy because it can result in combative hearings between the player and his team, but the Braves have to be given some credit for using the file-and-trial method to lock up a few of their best players. Simmons and Teheran might be more open to long-term pacts with an obvious structure and competitive plan in place.
Simmons, 24, won the Gold Glove at shortstop in the NL in his first full season. He hit just .248/.296/.396, but still managed to finish 14th in NL MVP voting. So, yeah. His glove is pretty good. His arbitration clock has been ticking since he was called up during the 2012 season, and he'll likely reach arbitration next winter as a super-two player, meaning he'll be eligible for arbitration for four years rather than three. The team has control of him through 2019, so even if they don't lock him up, he's still going to be cranking out highlights in Atlanta until then, but the club could make him an offer over that covers the next four years in an effort to avoid the panel for the rest of his eligibility.
Teheran, 23, is in a very similar situation. However, he's less likely to reach super-two status. If Atlanta can map out a deal that Teheran likes, both sides would probably be pretty happy to avoid the year-to-year flux of the arbitration process. Last year, the right hander had a breakout season with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP over 185⅔ innings.
Atlanta appears to be attacking their most pressing problem for the future -- how to keep all their good, young players. It's a problem any team would love to have.