The Los Angeles Dodgers have pretty much filled out their team, but their bullpen remains the biggest question mark. Apparently former San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo might be a possible option to reinforce the bullpen.
It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to add reinforcements to their bullpen before the 2017 season begins. As of right now, Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez, Grant Dayton and possibly Alex Wood and/or Ross Stripling are the only guarantees to make the bullpen for Opening Day. They are the only guarantees because the other options on the team such as Adam Liberatore, Chris Hatcher, Josh Ravin, Luis Avilan and Josh Fields are coming off injury-riddled seasons or have not quite proven themselves to be completely dependable.
This is why the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly in the running for longtime San Francisco Giants reliever (and former closer) Sergio Romo.
The 33-year-old (soon to be 34 next month) has a career 2.58 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, with a 10.2 K/9 rate. So yeah, he’s been pretty good. He was the closer for San Francisco in 2013 when he collected 38 saves to go along with a 2.54 ERA in 60.1 innings pitched. However, 2013 wasn’t his best season. He had a dominant run from 2010-2012, where he complied a 1.90 ERA and 0.85 WHIP and 203 strikeouts in 165.1 innings.
Because this run coincided with the struggles of the Giants’ closer at the time, Romo became the closer in 2013. However, he struggled in 2014 and lost the closer role and became the setup man again. In 2015 and 2016 he improved again, collecting a 2.86 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 104 strikeouts in 88 innings pitched.
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He may not be able to replicate the dominance he displayed from 2010-2012, but the way he’s pitched the last two seasons would be more than adequate enough. If Sergio Romo were to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he would probably challenge Pedro Baez for the setup role.
One big positive about Romo would be that he would age better than a lot of other pitchers. He was never a power pitcher or a pitcher that ever relied on velocity. Romo’s biggest weapons are a changeup and slider which, when he’s on his game, are absolutely filthy. His slider in particular can be deadly. It’s just a matter of getting his confidence up, keeping it high, and locating his pitches to the best of his ability. They complement his soft fastball, which usually tops out in the high 80s. One thing to that might raise red flags is his drop in velocity from 2015 to 2016.
However, another plus is that he’s pitched on the biggest stage the game has to offer. Sergio Romo is a three-time World Series champion. He is the one that closed out the 2014 World Series by striking out Miguel Cabrera. He’s a proven commodity that doesn’t shrink under pressure. The Los Angeles Dodgers should want a pitcher with Sergio Romo’s pedigree in their bullpen.
Even with his drop in velocity, I believe Romo is a risk worth taking on for a season. The Dodgers are World Series contenders and if they can get him for just a season, that would be perfect. A one-year rental is not risky and has the possibility of high rewards. He would not be expensive either, as his market was slow to develop and it is already February, so he does not have much leverage in negotiations. The Dodgers must go all-in, and signing Romo would be a good last step.