The Cardinals have released right-hander Ryan Tepera, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He was designated for assignment last week and would have had the right to reject an outright assignment, making this a fairly expected development.
Tepera, 35, has a long track record of being an effective reliever. He came into this year with a career earned run average of 3.50 over 361 appearances, striking out 24.5% of opponents while walking 8.8% of them and keeping the ball on the ground at a 43.5% clip. That included the first season of a two-year, $14MM deal he signed with the Angels prior to 2022.
But it’s been a trying season for him here in 2023. He posted a 7.27 ERA through his first 10 appearances with the Angels this year, leading to him getting designated for assignment and then released. He secured a minor league deal with the Rangers and tossed eight scoreless innings in Triple-A, striking out 37.9% of batters faced at that level. He was able to opt out of that deal when the Rangers wouldn’t give him a roster spot, but he got one with the Cardinals. Unfortunately, they bounced him off after just two appearances when Tyler O’Neill came off the injured list.
Tepera will now be free to sign with any club. The Angels are still on the hook for what’s left of his contract, meaning any other team could sign him and pay him the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the roster, with that amount subtracted from what the Halos owe. With the trade deadline a few days away, plenty of clubs will be trading away relievers and likely opening up new jobs. With Tepera’s track record and minimal acquisition cost, it’s possible some club looks to plug him in as a veteran presence.