Cubs will definitely miss the efforts of Jeremy Jeffress
As previously mentioned, the Cubs will be without Chafin (free agent) and Osich (Cincinnati Reds) in the upcoming season. Joining those two this week was right-hander Colin Rea, who was released by the team on Tuesday.
Rea will be continuing his baseball career in Japan after posting a 5.79 ERA and 1.214 WHIP in nine games last season.
Ryan Tepera was also non-tendered this earlier offseason, though it remains to be seen whether or not the Cubs will bring him back. Tepera, 33, would’ve made ~$1.5 million in arbitration. The righty posted a 3.92 ERA and 1.403 WHIP in 21 games last season, which (accidentally) earned him an NL MVP vote.
Both Rea and Tepera had their moments in 2020, though neither was dominant enough to make finding their replacements impossible. The biggest challenge will come in finding someone to take the spot of closer Jeremy Jeffress.
Surprisingly, there haven’t been many rumors with teams linked to Jeffress so far this offseason. Jeffress made $850k (non-prorated) on a one-year contract last season. Talk about a bargain. Even with COVID-19 impacting the market, the right-hander still pitched his way into some type of a pay raise for 2021.
Just how much raise remains to be seen, as does Hoyer deciding to bring back Jeffress. I think the team will likely go with the cheaper option, eventually naming a current arm on the roster as the new closer.