The Chicago White Sox has some questions in the bullpen. We know that they are probably going to trade Craig Kimbrel. That is the biggest obstacle for them in terms of their offseason bullpen plans. They also might try to make one (or more) of Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez, or Garrett Crochet starters. Both of those things leave some holes in the pen that need to be filled.
We know that whoever isn’t turned into a starter of those three, Liam Hendriks, and Aaron Bummer are going to be there. That is why they should strongly consider bringing back Ryan Tepera. He was awesome for the White Sox in 2021 and could be a big key to success in 2022.
The Sox acquired him in a trade with the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline. He was actually much better than Craig Kimbrel in his time with the White Sox but he was used properly. Kimbrel was used in positions that he doesn’t typically succeed in so nobody should really be too surprised.
Chicago should be a pretty comfortable place for him. He spent all of 2020 and 2021 playing for one of the two teams. Before that, he spent his entire career with the Toronto Blue Jays. The White Sox offers him a valuable role, will probably pay him handsomely, and give him an opportunity to be on a championship-level team.
The Chicago White Sox would be a much better team with Ryan Tepera in 2022.
They also probably need him very badly in their own right. He would fill a big hole in the bullpen that would be there if he decided to leave town. It is certainly something to consider doing if you are Rick Hahn and the player is willing to stay.
Tepera had some really nice stats in 2021. Split between the Cubs and White Sox, he had a 2.79 ERA, 0.880 WHIP, two saves, and 74 strikeouts over 61.1 innings pitched. All of that accumulated to a 1.8 WAR which is not bad at all for a reliever in that type of role.
He was also a story for the White Sox in the playoffs. He was their best overall pitcher against the Houston Astros. Not only that, but he was also a story because of his mouth. He made comments about the Houston Astros and their cheating ways after game three which made some headlines.
The Houston Astros didn’t like that too much but that is too bad for them. The White Sox could use a spark like that from time to time. They were defeated by Houston because the 2021 edition of the team was just better. However, there are big expectations in 2022 and it would be cool to see Tepera be a part of it.