The Cubs announced their full slate of roster moves Wednesday evening, including non-tenders of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., and José Martinez. Two of those were expected and one had been heavily speculated, but one move that caught at least one intrepid blogger off-guard was the non-tender of Ryan Tepera.
The righty reliever performed well despite a relatively high walk rate, riding his cutter to an incredible whiff rate that led to him striking out 31 batters in 20.2 innings. His breakout campaign was enough to earn him a down-ballot MVP vote, even if it was only the result of an old codger fat-fingering the drop-down menu on the voting site.
It was reported that the Cubs are having discussions with Schwarber about an extension, so perhaps the same will be true for Tepera.
Five players were tendered contracts ahead of Wednesday’s deadline and will now have a little over a month to exchange salary figures with the team: Javy Báez, Kris Bryant, Ian Happ, Victor Caratini, and Willson Contreras. The Cubs avoided arbitration with pitchers Colin Rea, Dan Winkler, and Kyle Ryan by agreeing to contract terms for 2021.
All of those players were considered possibilities to be non-tendered, but they may have been part of an expected wave of pre-tender deals as players accepted team-friendly terms to avoid being pushed into free agency.
The Cubs also claimed righty Robert Stock off waivers from the Red Sox, so the 40-man roster now stands at 34.