Nationals’ reliever J.C. Romero is apparently planning on opting out of his deal with the club if he doesn’t reach the majors by Friday. If Romero remains in the minors, reports say he would end his short stay with Washington and sign with the Yankees.
Romero just signed a minor league deal with the Nationals two weeks ago. The 35 year old became a free agent after he was released by the Phillies on June 24th. Romero was with the Phillies for parts of 5 seasons, mainly serving them as a left handed specialist.
But after 24 appearances this season, Philly wasn’t satisfied with his performance and cut Romero loose. Over that span the lefty logged 16.1 innings while maintaining an ERA and WHIP of 3.86 and 1.714.
Though his earned run average may not look awful, Romero was sporting an xFIP of 5.48. As he always has, Romero struggled with command issues (6.6 BB/9) and his strike out rate was down near his career low (5.5).
Romero’s pitched well with the Nationals’ Triple-A squad. In 5 appearances spanning 7 innings he’s only surrendered a single run. Romero’s struck out 5 over that period and has allowed one free pass.
New York is known to be looking for a left handed specialist after losing Pedro Feliciano most likely for the season. The 34 year old has been out since April when an MRI showed a torn capsule in his left shoulder and was shut down again last week.