Angels bolster 'pen with additions of Bradley, Tepera

March 19th, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels are revamping their bullpen, as they officially signed veteran right-hander to a one-year deal worth $3.75 million on Friday, while also agreeing to terms with fellow right-hander on a two-year pact worth $14 million on Saturday.

To make room for Tepera on the 40-man roster, right-hander Kyle Tyler has been designated for assignment. Left-hander Packy Naughton was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for Bradley, who arrived to Angels camp and threw his bullpen session with the club.

"These are guys you can count on when the score is even or ahead," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "The more of those you have in your bullpen the better off.”

Both should bring a boost to the bullpen, as they’ve been stellar throughout their careers and were solid last year. Bradley, 29, posted a 3.71 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 22 walks in 51 innings with the Phillies in 2021 and has a career 2.98 ERA with 297 strikeouts in 284 1/3 innings as a reliever. And Tepera, 34, posted a 2.79 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 19 walks in 61 1/3 innings with the Cubs and White Sox last year and has a career 3.48 ERA with 308 strikeouts in 297 1/3 frames.

"From the outside looking in, I've always been like, man, if the Angels just had pitching," Bradley said. "And you saw what they did yesterday, signing Tepera. You look at what they've added and you really start to turn your head and get excited and look at what could be."

Bradley hinted he was signing with the Angels early on Thursday, posting a GIF from the movie “Angels in the Outfield,” only to later delete his tweet. But Angels superstar Mike Trout retweeted him before Bradley took it down.

“Sometimes you get ahead of yourself,” Bradley said with a laugh. “I realized there's a process to this. You got to pass your physical and things like that. So I tweeted that, but I was like that's maybe a little premature.”

Bradley and Tepera figure to be two of the club’s primary setup relievers behind closer Raisel Iglesias. Lefty Aaron Loup was also signed to a two-year deal worth $17 million, while other internal options include Mike Mayers, Austin Warren, José Quijada and Andrew Wantz.

Bradley has pitched in the Majors for seven years with the D-backs, Reds and Phillies, posting a 3.89 ERA with 465 strikeouts in 463 innings. He was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2011 Draft out of Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School and was a top prospect. He was a starter with Arizona from 2015-16 before being moved to relief.

Bradley works with both a four-seamer and a two-seamer that both average around 94 mph, and he pairs them with a curveball and a changeup. Bradley uses his curveball more against right-handers, while he relies on his changeup more against lefties. He's mostly used as a one-inning reliever, although he did go more than one inning in seven appearances last year.

Tepera, meanwhile, has been a reliever throughout his seven-year career with the Blue Jays, Cubs and White Sox. His only career start came as an opener with Toronto in 2019. His best pitch is his cutter, but he also throws a four-seamer, a sinker and a changeup. He was originally a 19th-round selection out of Sam Houston State by the Blue Jays in 2009.

"I think the Angels have always needed a little bit of pitching help," Tepera said. "This lineup is unbelievable. I think this bullpen that was built is going to help a lot. When you get a little bit older and further in your career, it's all about winning and that's what I'm coming here to do."