The White Sox have been scouting the Cubs relievers for a little over a week now, and it appears there is going to be a cross-town trade.
Right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera is heading to the South Side of the city.
The Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a deal to acquire reliever Ryan Tepera from the Chicago Cubs, pending medicals, according to sources familiar with the situation.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 29, 2021
This is the Cubs third major trade of the season (Andrew Chafin and Joc Pederson having already been dealt) and second deal involving a reliever. As expected, Jed Hoyer seems to be clearing the deck for deadline prize Craig Kimbrel, who was never likely to be traded to the White Sox.
Tepera has been a lights-out reliever when he’s been healthy this season, including six straight scoreless outings. He’s got 50 strikeouts against just 12 walks and has allowed only 14 ER in 43.1 IP (2.91 ERA, 2.71 FIP). The White Sox got themselves a good one as they continue their push to the World Series.
In return for the righty, the Cubs are reportedly receiving Class-A southpaw Bailey Horn, who was selected in the 5th round of the draft last season. You wonder if the Cubs had him on their board and are using this opportunity to get him into the organization.
Horn, 23, is an older starter for his level and has already undergone Tommy John surgery (in college), but is a top-30 prospect in the White Sox system by most accounts.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about the left-hander:
Horn is an athletic lefthander with a clean arm action and solid three-pitch mix. His fastball typically sits in the 90-94 mph range and plays up with tailing, running action. Horn has flashed above-average potential with both his breaking ball and changeup, but both pitches remain inconsistent. His breaking ball ranges from a 30-grade offering to a plus pitch, and some evaluators believe it fluctuates because his arm slot changes when he throws it. The same is true for his changeup, which fluctuates from a 40-grade offering to a 55-grade pitch. Horn is athletic, so there’s hope he can make adjustments to become more consistent with both offerings in the future. Horn can be scattered and inefficient with his pitches, but he’s typically around the strike zone enough to be effective. Some scouts think Horn is destined for the bullpen with his injury history and scattered command, but his athleticism, frame and flashes of a three-pitch mix lead others to believe he can start.
Horn’s numbers don’t look great so far this season, but like I said, the Cubs probably scouted him heavily last year and have their own designs on his future.
UPDATE: It’s official.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 29, 2021