TODAY: Tepera is now a free agent after clearing release waivers, the Angels announced.
MAY 14: The Angels have designated right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera for assignment, per a team announcement. Taking Tepera’s place on the active roster will be right-hander Zack Weiss, who was recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Tepera, 35, signed a two-year, $14MM contract with the Angels prior to the 2022 season. At the time, Tepera was coming off of a dominant season in Chicago, where he posted a 2.79 ERA (154 ERA+) with a matching 2.73 FIP over 61 1/3 innings split between the Cubs and White Sox. While Tepera was solid in his first season with the Angels, he didn’t quite live up to that promise, posting a 3.61 ERA (113 ERA+) with a 4.21 FIP over 57 1/3 innings of work.
The 2023 campaign has been nothing short of a disaster for Tepera so far, however. In ten appearances, the veteran righty has allowed nine runs (seven earned) in just 8 2/3 innings of work. While Tepera has a decent 21.7% strikeout rate and an excellent 6.5% walk rate so far this season, and a massive .448 BABIP certainly contributed to his struggles, Tepera had already allowed two home runs this season after allowing just 11 over his past 118 2/3 innings of work.
Tepera’s struggles were enough for the Angels to pull the plug despite the club still owing him $7MM for the 2023 campaign. At this point, it’s all but assured that Tepera will clear waivers, allowing him to sign with another club that would only owe Tepera the pro-rated big league minimum while the Angels continue to pay down his 2023 salary.
With Tepera off the roster, the Angels still have plenty of solid options for the back of their bullpen, with Carlos Estevez, Matt Moore, Jaime Barria and Andrew Wantz all having excelled to this point in the season. They’ll be joined by Weiss, 31 next month, who posted a solid 3.38 ERA (123 ERA+) with a 4.16 FIP in 13 1/3 innings for the Angels last season. Weiss’s stint with the Angels last season was just his second in the big leagues, as he debuted with the Reds in 2018 but failed to record an out in the appearance while surrendering four runs.