Julio Teheran brings 'stability' to Angels' rotation, Billy Eppler says

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Billy Eppler has said throughout the offseason that the Los Angeles Angels' top priority was adding stability to the pitching staff. The general manager believes he has done that by bringing in Julio Teheran.

The Angels announced Saturday they have signed the two-time All-Star to a $9 million, one-year contract. Teheran has spent the past seven seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

"It was important to bring some stability and certainty to our rotation," Eppler said. "He has the ability to command all his pitches and brings some deception to his arsenal."

The Angels had only 22 quality starts last season, which according to Sportradar marks only the second time a major league staff has had fewer than 30 (Colorado had 27 in 2012). LA starters also compiled a 5.64 ERA, second-highest in the major leagues.

Eppler said he had trade discussions with Atlanta regarding Teheran in the past. The 28-year-old right-hander hit free agency after the Braves declined his $12 million option.

Teheran was 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA last season and was left off the Division Series roster against St. Louis, then added as a replacement when Chris Martin got hurt. He is 77-73 with a 3.67 ERA in 229 games, all but three of them starts.

Teheran is the second pitcher the Angels have added this offseason. They acquired Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles earlier this month. That pair joins a rotation that also projects to include Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning.

Ohtani's status for opening day is uncertain. The two-way sensation had Tommy John surgery following the 2018 season. He has completed his recovery program and ramped down his throwing program but will continue to play catch on flat ground before building back up for spring training.

Eppler said the team is still discussing Ohtani's usage, which could include delaying him pitching in a game until May. Eppler added there should be some clarity about Ohtani's plan next month.

"I think we have been able to make the club better," Eppler said. "We've seen what Heaney and Ohtani can do while Canning made an immediate impact last year. I believe what we have now is a strong group."