Tepera excited about move to South Side
Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera wasn't complaining about his situation after being traded to the White Sox on Thursday. He gets to join a first-place team without moving to a new city.
"I've been telling everybody pretty simple and easy," Tepera said. "I can stay at the same apartment and I usually scooter to the field, but now I've got to drive to the field. So it's only 15-20 minutes longer. It could be a lot worse. I like it, I'm excited."
Tepera also has a history with White Sox closer Liam Hendriks from their days with the Blue Jays. Tepera and Hendriks were named relievers of the month in their respective league for May, 2021.
"Liam Hendricks reached out to me today, texted me and said, 'Hey, excited to have you,'" Tepera said. "He talked about how much fun they have over there.
"We played in Buffalo together in Triple A, then in the big leagues in Toronto, he was there for I think two seasons in the bullpen. I've known him from way back. So good to have a familiar face, I guess."
The Cubs signed Tepera before as a free agent last season and he eventually became one of their most effective relievers. His 2.91 ERA this season is the best of his seven-year career.
"Yeah, it's been a pleasure, man," he said. "Just playing here at Wrigley Field in front of the fans and enjoying this atmosphere and being part of history, honestly. it's been awesome. It's a good group of guys.
"I was just talking to Rossy about it was about a year ago I was sitting in his office and he looked me in the eyes and he sent me down for Opening Day last year. I told him straight up, 'I'll be back and I'm going to be your set up guy.' It's just kind of funny to think about now. Enjoyed my time here, it was awesome, so looking forward to the next adventure."
Tepera said he found out about the trade just before Thursday's game started. The Cubs made it official early in the game.
"Today I came in right before the game and actually found out in the lunchroom," Tepera said. "Jed (Hoyer) walked in and told me man-to-man, said, 'Hey, the deal's done. You're heading across town.'
"I'm excited, it's kind of unique thing for a trade to happen between the crosstown rivals. Obviously going to a first-place team and playoff contention. I'm looking forward to it."