So let me tell you a little story, before I tell you about Ryan Tepera.
It’s the Friday before Christmas. I had an errand to run that couldn’t be done Saturday (the place I was going isn’t open on weekends). I asked Josh if he’d be around and he said he wasn’t going to be available most of the afternoon, but I figured this Friday wouldn’t be a big deal, everyone’s getting ready for the holiday. What could possibly...
Of course, just as I’m getting in the car to drive home, I got this notification:
The Cubs have agreed to a one-year, split contract with pitcher Ryan Tepera that would be worth $900,000 at the big-league level. Tepera has a 3.64 ERA in 216 career appearances with the Blue Jays as well as a minor-league option remaining.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) December 20, 2019
And now you know why this post was delayed about an hour or so past the time when it was all over Twitter.
This is a decent signing; as noted, Tepera has made 216 MLB appearances, all but one in relief. He was the Blue Jays’ 19th-round pick in 2009 and spent six years in their system before his MLB debut in 2015. He was pretty consistent over his first four years with the Jays, but had what was described as a “right elbow impingement” last year and missed three months of the season before returning to post a 3.38 ERA and 0.938 ERA in 11 appearances in September.
Per Fangraphs, he throws mostly a fastball and cutter, with his fastball velocity averaging about 93.7 miles per hour.
With an option remaining and a split contract, he’s an affordable depth option for the bullpen. I won’t say the usual “low risk, high possible reward” mantra here, because that’s not really the case. Tepera’s just another fungible relief body who could provide some useful innings in 2020.
With this signing, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39.
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