On Thursday, the Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Ryan Tepera from the Chicago Cubs, in a move to bolster what has been a disappointing bullpen. The right-hander is having a career-best season on the North Side this season, compiling 50 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. He also has an earned run average of 2.91, also a career-best. He has been one of the bright spots for the Cubs this season, but the North Siders find themselves sellers at the 2021 trade deadline.
What This Means For The White Sox
Adding bullpen help has been at the top of general manager Rick Hahn’s wish list for a while. In 2020, the Pale Hose had a surprisingly solid bullpen, and with the additions of Michael Kopech and Liam Hendriks, figured to be outstanding in 2021. However, the relievers who were so good last, like Codi Heuer, Evan Marshall, and Matt Foster, have been anything but good this season. Their inability to duplicate last year’s performance forced Hahn’s hand, as the Sox are in win-now mode.
Tepera figures to give the South Siders a solid late-inning righty, something they have needed basically all season. Kopech has been excellent, but after coming back from Tommy John surgery, his innings have been limited. So, Tepera should be a solid complement to Kopech, as the Sox try to close out games down the stretch. If they are to be serious contenders for the World Series, addressing the bullpen was a must.
Tepera, who was acquired in exchange for Class A reliever Bailey Horn, is expected to join the team on Friday night when the Pale Hose open up a three-game series at home against the Cleveland Indians.
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