MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs will re-sign right-hander Ryan Tepera to a one-year, $800,000 deal, pending a physical, according to a source.
Tepera was a big piece of the Cubs’ bullpen in 2020, and after Jeremy Jeffress, he might have been the team’s best reliever during the shortened season. The right-hander was 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA with a career-high 34.8% strikeout rate.
“I think Ryan Tepera last year did a really good job for us of coming in and pitching some really big innings,” manager David Ross said. “I thought he bridged the gap to the back end [of the bullpen] really well. That sixth, seventh [inning] spot where maybe [Rowan] Wick was used the day before. There’s so many pieces to that bullpen. He was a significant piece for us last year that kind of came in and got us out of a big spot and was able to handle the moment.”
The addition of Tepera adds another piece to the Cubs’ bullpen, which has gotten some additional reinforcements over the last few weeks. With right-hander Rowan Wick unlikely to break camp while dealing with a lingering intercostal injury, the bullpen could benefit from the extra support.
“I think depth pieces are going to be important for us,” Ross said. “And with [Wick] being on the shelf for a minute, and I think just in general this year, I think it’s going to take a lot of different arms to pitch big innings for us with the limited innings they were able to throw last year.
“The bullpen depth is always an important piece of any championship-caliber team. And if you want to get to where you want to go through 162, you’re going to need multiple arms down there in the bullpen. So guys that have been in the moment and have had success are very important.”
Strumpf, Weber added to spring roster
The Cubs added infield prospects Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber as non-roster invitees Friday. Strumpf hit .244 with three homers and 17 RBI over three levels in his first year in pro ball in 2019. The 21-year-old is the team’s ninth-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and was the Cubs’ second-round pick out of UCLA in 2019.
Weber hit .275 with three homers and 59 RBI in 127 games for South Bend in 2019. He was the Cubs’ fifth-round pick out of Virginia in 2018.