1:44pm: The Twins have announced the trade.
1:27pm: The Rays will be getting minor league righties Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia from the Twins, tweets La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Bullpen help has been the Twins’ primary need for quite some time, as the team lacks quality setup options for Glen Perkins, with the possible exception of converted starter Trevor May, who has recently been handling the eighth inning in Minnesota. Blaine Boyer, Aaron Thompson, Brian Duensing and Casey Fien have all had struggles at various times this year, with Thompson already having been shipped to Triple-A.
Jepsen, 31, should provide some stability, though he isn’t necessarily an elite upgrade. He has a solid track record dating back to 2012 (3.12 ERA in 187 1/3 innings), but his strikeout rate and control have both taken a step back in 2015. Jepsen’s averaged 4.3 walks per nine against 7.3 strikeouts per nine, both of which are departures from his career marks and his rates in recent seasons. Even without a return to his previous strikeout levels, though, Jepsen will improve the strikeout rate in a Twins bullpen that handily ranks last in the Majors in strikeout.
Jepsen is earning $3.025MM in 2015 and is controllable through the 2016 season, so he’ll likely be ticketed for a raise into the mid-$4MM range or so this winter.