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The Cubs have agreed to a $800,000 major-league deal with reliver Ryan Tepera, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed Friday. The contract is pending a physical. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was the first to report the Cubs were bringing the right-hander back for this season.
The Cubs non-tendered Tepera in December, making him a free agent. Tepera made 21 appearances for the club last season, logging a 3.92 ERA.
Cubs manager David Ross initially left Tepera off the 2020 Opening Day roster, but in the weeks after said that was a mistake.
“I went with another guy and some stuff,” Ross said in August. “And Ryan Tepera has done nothing but prove himself and his worth here.”
Tepera, 33, established himself as a reliable veteran in high-leverage innings. Tepera serves as more than a replacement for Rowan Wick (intercostal injury), but the uncertainly of when Wick will return made adding bullpen depth especially important for the Cubs.
Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy agreed Thursday that being ready for the season opener could be an ambitious timeline for Wick. According to Ross, the setup man was scheduled for further medical tests this week to better understand his lingering injury.
Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to the reporting of this story.
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