The Chicago Cubs have signed righthanded relief pitcher Ryan Tepera of Houston, TX to a one year contract worth $900,000 according to Rogers Sportsnet. Tepera had spent the last five seasons pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 2019, Tepera pitched 23 games for the Blue Jays and had a record of zero wins and two losses. He had an earned run average of 4.98. In 21 2/3 innings pitched, Tepera gave up 20 hits, 12 earned runs and eight walks. He had 14 strikeouts and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.29.
Tepera only saw limited action last season due to elbow issues. He was placed on the 60 day injury list in May after having surgery to repair an elbow impingement.
The Cubs will be hoping that they get the version of Tepera, who was extremely effective for the Blue Jays from 2015 to 2018. Before the elbow problems started to become a concern, Tepera had an earned run average of 3.27 in 32 games with the Blue Jays in 2015, an earned run average of 2.95 in 20 games in 2016, an excellent record for a reliever of seven wins and one loss with an earned run average of 3.59 in 2017 and an earned run average of 3.62 in 2018.
Tepera was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 19th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball amateur draft. However, he was released on November 7, 2019 according to Baseball Reference.
At 32 years of age, Tepera joins a Cubs bullpen in 2020 that includes seven-time all-star closer Craig Kimbrel of Huntsville, AL, Canadian Rowan Wick of Vancouver, British Columbia, Kyle Ryan of Auburndale, FL, James Norwood of New York, NY and Dan Winkler of Effingham, IL.
Interestingly, Winkler is also joining the Cubs in 2020 after playing the last five seasons with the Atlanta Braves. Winkler and Tepera also had the exact same earned run average in 2019 of 4.98. Like Tepera, Winkler has a history of elbow problems.