The Cubs are among the slew of teams continuing to monitor the market for bullpen upgrades, and they’ve “closely” scouted Blue Jays right-hander Ryan Tepera and Padres righty Kirby Yates, per Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago/670 The Score. Both relievers figure to come with a relatively high cost of acquisition, as Yates is controlled through the 2020 season, while Tepera is controlled all the way through 2021. Each is in the midst of a fine season, though Yates has been among the NL’s best relievers thanks largely to a newly adopted splitter that has been a wipeout offering in 2018. Tepera is sitting on a 3.71 ERA with nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in a tough AL East (and a tough home park, Toronto’s Rogers Centre). Both players are plenty affordable, with Tepera not yet eligible for arbitration until this offseason and Yates earning just $1.0625MM in his first trip through the arb process last winter.
Also on the Cubs front, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that while it should be considered a “long shot,” the Cubs can’t be ruled out as a candidate to add a controllable starting pitcher. Doing so would likely mean building a package around young infielder/outfielder Ian Happ, controlled through the 2023 season, or a similarly enticing young hitter. Happ, 24 in two weeks, has displayed plenty of promise this year with a .253/.375/.445 slash, but while he walks at an impressive 16.1 percent clip, he’s also punched out in more than 35 percent of his plate appearances.
Here’s more out of the division…
- The Reds haven’t gotten that much traction in their trade talks surrounding Matt Harvey, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman adds that the team feels Harvey has been a model teammate and may just hang onto him if no suitable offers crop up, though he also notes that that line of thinking could be mere posturing on the Reds’ behalf. Fancred’s Jon Heyman, meanwhile, tweets that outfielder Adam Duvall’s name continues to bounce around the rumor circuit, calling him and Harvey the two likeliest Reds to move. Heyman notes that the Reds would need to be “blown away” to move closer Raisel Iglesias, which largely lines up with previous reports that the Reds believe they can be significantly more competitive in 2019 despite a dearth of quality starting pitching.
- The Brewers are still in the market for upgrades after acquiring both Joakim Soria and Mike Moustakas, tweets Rosenthal. Specifically, Milwaukee is continuing to explore the market for a starting pitching upgrade and the market for some help behind the plate. The Brewers have recently been linked to the likes of Zack Wheeler and Chris Archer, though the market offers myriad opportunities to add an arm to the staff. There’s a more limited supply of available catchers, though Marlins star J.T. Realmuto, injured Rays backstop Wilson Ramos and Mets rental Devin Mesoraco are all candidates to change teams between now and the non-waiver deadline, which is roughly 24 hours away.