Tepera to White Sox nets LHP prospect

July 30th, 2021

CHICAGO -- As the Cubs slipped out of the division race over the past month, it became increasingly likely that the club's late-inning bullpen trio would be broken up before the Trade Deadline.

That reality continued to come to fruition Thursday, when the Cubs traded setup man to the White Sox for pitching prospect . The deal comes after the Cubs dealt lefty Andrew Chafin to the A's for two prospects on Monday.

As Friday's 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline looms, it remains possible that closer Craig Kimbrel will also soon find himself in a new uniform.

"[Tepera], [Chafin], Kimbrel were the guys that we got to win baseball games," Cubs manager David Ross said after Thursday's 7-4 loss. "When you lose two of those three guys, it makes it difficult. Those guys pitched really big innings. [Tepera] is someone that came in here last year in my first season and really made an impact."

The trade between the Cubs and White Sox is the first between the crosstown rivals since July 13, 2017. That was when the North Siders sent prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the South Side as part of the deal for lefty José Quintana.

The fact that Tepera gets to stay in Chicago was a welcomed aspect for the reliever.

"I've been telling everybody that it's pretty simple and easy," Tepera said with a smile. "I can stay in the same apartment. I usually scooter to the field, but now I've got to drive to the field. So it's only about 15-20 more minutes longer. It could be a lot worse. I like it. I'm excited."

The Cubs were willing to part with impact prospects in the Quintana deal in the name of pushing to defend their World Series crown. Right now, with the Cubs sliding out of contention, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer is looking for ways to upgrade the farm system.

After Thursday's game, MLB.com confirmed that the Cubs also reached a deal with the Yankees to acquire Minor League righty Alexander Vizcaino (No. 9 on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Yankees prospects list) and outfielder Kevin Alcantara (No. 12) in exchange for veteran first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Horn, who was the No. 23-ranked prospect for the White Sox, per MLB Pipeline, slots in at the bottom of the Cubs' Top 30 list. The 23-year-old left-hander features a four-pitch mix (fastball, slider, changeup and curve) and has racked up 45 strikeouts against 18 walks with a 5.63 ERA in 38 1/3 innings between two Class A levels this season.

For Chafin, the Cubs landed first baseman Greg Deichmann (now No. 15 on Pipeline's Top 30 prospects list for the team) and hard-throwing Low-A righty Daniel Palencia.

This season, the 33-year-old Tepera -- a free agent this coming winter -- posted a 2.91 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 12 walks in 43 1/3 innings (43 games). Six of the 14 earned runs he allowed came in two games in late June prior to a stint on the injured list due to a minor left calf issue.

"It's been a pleasure, man," Tepera said of his two seasons with the Cubs. "Just playing here at Wrigley Field in front of the fans, and enjoying this atmosphere and just being a part of history, honestly. It's been awesome."

Tepera noted that White Sox closer Liam Hendriks -- a former teammate from their days with Toronto -- already sent him a welcoming text.

"I'm excited, man," Tepera said. "It's kind of a unique thing for a trade to happen between crosstown rivals. I'm excited. Obviously, going to a first-place team, playoff contention, I'm looking forward to it."