A new crop of players is out on the market now that the non-tender deadline has passed, including a reliever who would be a great fit for the Brewers.
After one season with the Chicago Cubs, RHP bullpen arm Ryan Tepera was non-tendered and is now a free agent. The Brewers recently traded former All-Star Corey Knebel just before the non-tender deadline and have many players with bright futures in their bullpen, but could adding Ryan Tepera could provide some reassured stability?
Tepera was one of the few trusted bullpen arms for Cubs manager David Ross in 2020. While his season ERA ended at 3.92 he saw a tremendous spike in his strikeouts per nine as it was 13.5 and his career average is 8.9. Additionally, he also earned an accidental MVP vote from voter Rick Hummel.
Five out of Tepera’s first six MLB seasons came with the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched 215 total innings in that span with a 3.64 ERA and 10 saves. His numbers don’t jump off the page but it is important to note that he has not allowed a blow up season throughout his career so far, which may make him a reliable signing in free agency this season.
Had the Chicago Cubs retained Tepera he would have been entering his final season of arbitration in which MLB Trade Rumors had his projected earnings to be $1.2MM to 1.5 MM. As a 33-year-old right handed pitcher, he could provide a veteran presence in a very young Milwaukee Brewers bullpen.
Despite his age, Tepera still throws the heat. As primarily a sinker and cutter pitcher, he averages 94 MPH on the sinker and 88 MPH with his cutter. He has the ability to mix in a slider and changeup from time to time but these are used very seldom.
With Tepera’s increased results in striking batters out to the tune of 34% in 2020, he fits the mold of a high strikeout pitcher that the Brewers and David Stearns seem to value. Last season he ranked in the 99th percentile in whiff percentage per Statcast and allowed just five extra base hits.
If you add Tepera into this bullpen with current high strike out pitchers like Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Freddy Peralta, and Drew Rasmussen, there is almost no need to even send the infielders/outfielder out to play! At a likely cheap price tag, this makes adding Ryan Tepera seem like a very interesting idea.
The non-tender deadline across the MLB was Wednesday December 2nd, 2020. With 56 new players becoming free agents be sure to stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we select and discuss which players may be a good fit or not for the Milwaukee Brewers.