We’re still currently at the mercy of the CBA standoff – but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to brighter days. Diving even deeper into free agency and glancing over the key needs of the Chicago Cubs, you quickly realize how many former Cub relievers are available and looking for a new home.
In fact, all three members of this list have had career years in Cubbie blue and would undoubtedly be welcomed back by the Wrigleyville faithful. Let’s jump right into it. These are three relievers who you just may see return to Wrigley Field in 2022 as key pieces of David Ross’ bullpen.
Chicago Cubs: 3 relievers who may return in 2022 – #3: Ryan Tepera
Chicago really needs to fortify the back end of its bullpen after key pieces, Tepera included, were shipped off last season at the trade deadline. For the Cubs, the move may prove to be worth it as some have the team’s farm system ranked as high as seventh in the league heading into 2022. With those prospects in-tow, now Jed Hoyer can turn around and bring back guys he sent packing last July.
Last season with the North Siders, Tepera put up a 2.91 ERA across 43 games and 43 1/3 frames. That 2.91 ERA, which was a career-best for the right-hander actually suggests he also ran into a touch of bad luck as well, evidenced by his 2.80 FIP. He served as an exceptionally valuable piece to the Cubs once the seventh inning rolled around. Though we was traded off at the deadline as the team was scrapped in order to cut as much payroll as possible, he was certainly sorely missed down the stretch.
Once traded to the Chicago White Sox, Tepera went on to post even better numbers over the 22 games and 18 innings pitched he saw on the southside. His 2.50 ERA with the Sox brought his season total numbers to a personal-best 2.79 ERA over 61 1/3 innings pitched. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that the front office should attempt to bring him back. Knowing they need bullpen help, starting with guys who are coming off a hot year and just showed success at Wrigley is the perfect place to start.