Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch for the start of Spring Training on Wednesday, and with that the club made their one-year contract with former San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo official.
Romo was said to have first agreed to a contract nearly 10 days ago, though it was backtracked a bit amid a report of a second club remaining involved. His agreement is worth a reported $3 million and includes incentives.
The Brawley, Calif., native joins the Dodgers after spending the past nine seasons with the Giants. During that span Romo went 32-26 with 84 saves, a 2.58 ERA, 2.71 FIP and 0.95 WHIP in 439.2 innings pitched.
His tenure in San Francisco included a rise to prominence as a closer — Romo recorded a career-high 38 saves and was named an All-Star in 2013 — and fall from grace, as the right-hander was stripped of his role in 2014.
Romo is coming off a season in which he pitched to a 2.64 ERA, 3.80 FIP and 1.08 WHIP over 40 games. He was particularly effective last September, yielding a 1.86 ERA with 11 strikeouts to just one walk in 9.2 innings.
However, Romo missed much of the first half due to a flexor strain, and thus only logged 30.2 innings. Further more, some of Romo’s peripherals in 2016 are disconcerting.
When compared to 2015, his strikeouts per nine dropped from 11.1 to 9.7, walks per nine increased from 1.6 to 2.1, FIP increased from 1.91 and home runs allowed per nine innings increased from 0.5 to 1.5.
Throughout his career Romo has been tough on right-handed hitters, which is what the Dodgers are banking on for this season. They have hit just .187/.226/.311 with 41 doubles, 28 home runs, 45 walks and 400 strikeouts in 1,116 plate appearances.
Romo’s effectiveness is heavily tied to his slider, which was thrown nearly 64 percent of the time last season. That’s proven to be problematic in the event opponents managed to lay off the tantalizing breaking ball.
On the surface, the addition of Romo serves as a replacement for Joe Blanton, who emerged as a dependable late-inning reliever for the Dodgers last season.
Yimi Garcia was placed on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot for Romo on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.