Angels sign Ryan Tepera to a two-year deal
The Angels have been pretty quiet since the lockout, though they did make their big move before the lockout signing Noah Syndergaard to bolster their rotation. Looking to get a team that features two of the best players in baseball over the hump, they spent Thursday trying to bolster the bullpen. Most notable in that quest was the signing of Ryan Tepera, who gets $14 million guaranteed over the course of this two-year deal.
In a relatively weak free agent market for relievers, Tepera was one of the best options available, and while that sounds like damning with faint praise, he’s a quality addition to the Angels bullpen. The righty, who will be 34 for the entirety of this season, pitched to a 2.79 ERA with an even better FIP last season, and has been comfortably better than average for the last two seasons. He should serve in a set up role for Joe Maddon and the Angels with Raisel Iglesias handling their closer duties.
Why Red Sox fans should care: The Red Sox really should be looking for a good right-handed reliever to throw into the late-inning mix, and Tepera felt like a great fit. It’s certainly risky to give a two-year deal to a 34-year-old pitcher, but it’s at least as risky to go into the season with Matt Barnes and Jake Diekman as your top two relievers. There are other options, but Tepera seemed like one of the safest.
Cubs sign Jonathan Villar to a one-year deal
On a very busy Wednesday earlier this week, the Cubs made one of the bigger and more surprising moves of the day, inking Seiya Suzuki to a five-year deal. This deal is not as sexy, but does provide a bit of depth to their lineup. Infielder Jonathan Villar signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Thursday worth $6 million.
Villar is a solid league-average player who is a nice bench player for this Cubs roster, playing behind Nick Madrigal and Andrelton Simmons up the middle. He should get a decent amount of playing time in that Cubs lineup, and gives them a league-average bat with some speed.
Why Red Sox fans should care: It’s taken a bit of a back seat with eyes on the outfield and bullpen situations in Boston, but they need an infielder as well, at the very least someone who can come off the bench. Villar seems like the kind of tier they should be targeting, someone who wouldn’t cost so much that it prevents them from filling other holes, but is also good enough to at least push Christian Arroyo. That Villar can also back up at shortstop would have helped as well.
- The Giants signed Matthew Boyd to a one-year deal worth $5.2 million. The lefty is likely looking to build some value and get a nice pay day next year, and if that’s the goal there aren’t many better destinations than San Francisco with that home ballpark.
- The Cubs also signed Mychal Givens to a one-year deal worth $5 million. Givens has spent most of his career to this point with the Orioles, where we saw first hand that he can be fine in middle relief, but the command issues prevent him from being trustworthy enough for a bigger role.
- The Cardinals signed Corey Dickers to a one-year deal worth $5 million. He’s not the best defensive player, but he gives St. Louis a capable left-handed bat for either a platoon or bat off the bench.
- The Angels signed Archie Bradley to a one-year deal worth $3.75 million. In Bradley, the Angels get a pitcher with late-inning experience, but also one whose strikeout rates have been falling for the last few years.
- The Dodgers signed Danny Duffy to a one-year deal with a club option for 2023. The lefty has been solid when healthy, but after being acquired by the Dodgers last summer he was unable to actually suit up for L.A. He’s hoping for a June return this year.