Twins help bullpen by trading for Rays' Kevin Jepsen


The Twins have made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen.

In exchange, the Star Tribune reports the Twins parted with two minor league pitchers: Chin-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

Shortly after the Rays confirmed the report on Twitter.

Jepsen has a 2.81 ERA in 41-plus innings pitched, which is more than a run better than the Twins bullpen's combined ERA of 3.97, which ESPN says ranks 24th in the big leagues.

Jepsen has a career 3.80 ERA with 305 strikeouts and 130 walks in 322 1/3 innings. Twins beat writer Rhett Bollinger for MLB.com notes that Jepsen's fastball averages 94.4 mph and he also mixes in a curveball and the occasional change-up.

What did the Twins give up?

Hu, 21, was 6-and-3 with a 2.38 ERA to go with 79 strikeouts and 23 walks in 90 2/3 innings for Class A Fort Myers and Triple-A Rochester.

Tapia, 19, posted a 3.82 ERA with 33 strikeouts and seven walks in 33 innings with Rookie-level Elizabethton this season.

FOX Sports says that Jepsen will likely work as a setup man for closer Glen Perkins.

Hardball Talk doesn't appear to be a big fan of the move. The report notes that while Jepsen should be an upgrade over Blaine Boyer and Casey Fien his strikeout rate is underwhelming and his control is poor.

But Twins G.M. Terry Ryan believes the move makes the Twins better for the stretch run to the playoffs.

The right-hander is due to make $3.03 million this year and remains under team control for 2016.

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