ATLANTA — First baseman Freddie Freeman and pitcher Julio Teheran are the only core players left after the Atlanta Braves' two-year teardown and rebuild for the future.
Freeman has been labeled as untouchable from the start. Teheran has virtually gained the same status.
The Braves could sell high on Teheran, but general manager John Coppolella has been adamant recently that the team plans to hold on to the 25-year-old staff ace despite continuing trade rumors.
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Teheran takes a 23-inning scoreless streak into his start Friday night against the Miami Marlins (41-38) and has a 2.46 ERA. He is second among major league starters with a WHIP of 0.89.
“When you start looking at All-Star pitchers, he is one,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “The only thing there is his one-loss record and he can't control that with all that goes on. He's been about as good as you can get.”
Teheran, given almost no offensive support, is 3-7 and has yet to record a victory at Turner Field. The right-hander is 0-4 in nine home starts despite a 2.80 ERA.
The Braves (27-52) have scored two runs or fewer while Teheran was on the mound in 12 of his 16 starts.
One of Teheran's home losses came against the Marlins, who had lost five straight to the Braves before winning 7-3 on May 29. Atlanta leads the series 7-2 after an 8-5 victory Thursday.
Teheran, 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins, gave up five hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings in that game, but has been on a roll since.
Teheran's scoreless stretch, which includes a one-hitter against the New York Mets, is the longest active streak in the National League and the longest by an Atlanta starter in a single season since Paul Maholm went 25 1/3 innings in 2013.
The streak comes with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline just a month away, but Teheran has been able to concentrate only on his work at hand.
“I don't think about it, but I hear about it because there are a lot of comments,” he said of the trade rumors. “I just focus on what I've been doing because this is the best I've been feeling during my career.”
The Marlins and Braves were active on the trade front Thursday.
Miami, already strong at the back of the bullpen with A.J. Ramos, obtained veteran closer Fernando Rodney from San Diego in exchange for pitching prospect Chris Paddack.
Rodney, 39, was 17-for-17 in save opportunities in his first year with the Padres and had a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. He is expected to join the Marlins on Friday.
“We're able to shorten the game, that's for sure,” manager Don Mattingly said of Rodney's addition. “We've been able to shorten it, in our minds, already. Now, it just makes it even shorter.”
Ramos is 24-for-24 in save opportunities this year and has converted a team-record 33 in a row dating back to last season.
“Right now, until we have a chance to talk to Fernando, there's nothing I want to talk about role-wise publicly,” Mattingly said. “I think we look at it as we just added a guy who has been rolling this year.”
The Braves' trade was a multi-player deal for prospects that sent veteran right-hander Bud Norris, who was 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his last five starts, to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I hate to see Bud go,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker. “The Dodgers are getting a hot pitcher.”
Norris, 31, was 3-7 with a 4.22 ERA in 22 games (10 startes) after being signed as a free agent in the offseason for $2.5 million.
The deal leaves the Braves in need of starter for Saturday, with a promotion from Triple-A likely.