Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch for Spring Training on Wednesday, and among those in attendance was Sergio Romo. Though at the time his reported contract was not yet official.
That changed Wednesday afternoon when the Dodgers announced the one-year deal and Yimi Garcia on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Romo on the 40-man roster. His one-year deal is worth a reported $3 million and includes $250,000 in incentives.
Romo can earn a $125,000 bonus by appearing in 50 games, and additional $125,000 by reaching 60 games. The right-hander spent all nine of his big league seasons with the division rival San Francisco Giants, and was quite successful during his tenure up north.
However, the Giants were not among the clubs to show interest in Romo during free agency. He nonetheless has spoke fondly of joining the Dodgers, and on Thursday expressed his gratitude, via SportsNet LA:
“I’m thankful for the opportunity. … The opportunity to win, they have a great opportunity to do that here without me, and now I’m being included in that chance. I’m going to just give it my best.”
That he didn’t sign a contract until February wasn’t a complete shock to Romo, though he said it lent to some self-doubt, according to Bill Plunkett of O.C. Register:
“Is it 100 percent surprising? No. Does it feel a little awkward and take away from the confidence and make you think, ‘Maybe I didn’t do it as well?’ I have to say yes. … For myself, yeah. I was thinking I would have more interest and be signed sooner. But that’s just not how it works.”
Romo appeared in at least 50 games for the Giants in six of nine seasons. From 2010-15 he made a minimum of 64 appearances, and set a career high with 70 games pitched in 2015.
But due to a flexor strain near his right elbow, the 33-year-old was limited to just 40 appearances and a career-low 30.2 innings last season. Romo was still productive when he was on the mound though, as he finished the year with a 2.64 ERA, 3.80 FIP and 1.08 WHIP.
Romo’s role in the Dodgers bullpen is currently unknown, although he is considered one of the favorites to be the primary setup man for Kenley Jansen.
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt cited Romo’s effective slider and experience in winning three World Series with the Giants among the reasons the Brawley, Calif., native will be a boon to the bullpen.