The Seattle Mariners add depth to their bullpen by adding longtime San Fransisco Giant, Sergio Romo on a friendly one-year, $2 million contract for the 2022 season. Romo will be entering his fifteenth major league season at the age of 39.
He’ll Always be a Giant
Although Romo has bounced around for the past 5 seasons, spending time with the Dodgers, Rays, Marlins, Twins, and A’s, he made the biggest impact with the San Fransico Giants. Romo was drafted by the Giants in the 28th round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft and made his big league debut in 2008. He pitched in nine seasons for the Giants, serving as their go-to closer from 2012 to 2014. Romo was an All-Star in 2013 and was a key reliever in the Giants’ magical dynasty, helping win a World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. At the backend of those bullpens featured guys such as Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Brian Wilson, and of course, Sergio Romo.
Romo is One of a Kind
When you think of Sergio Romo, you probably think of the fantastic beard and the frisbee-like slider, which is arguably known as one of the best of all time. Romo made history in 2018 when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays, by becoming the first ‘opener’. An opener is when a pitcher, typically a reliever, is sent out to start a game with the sole purpose of working one, maybe two innings. The Rays adopted this method in 2018 by sending their closing pitcher, Romo, out to start the game. The Rays then began using this approach more with reliever Ryne Stanek, Diego Castillo, and Hunter Wood. Although the Rays are best known for this method, other teams have replicated this model and the opener has even been seen in the postseason.
What are the Mariners Getting?
Acquiring Romo is a great fit for the Mariners. This gives them a veteran reliever, who has pitched in big games and can still get outs. Even though his last 3 seasons have been average, in those seasons, Romo pitched 142 innings with a 4.06 ERA and a 105 ERA+ (league average ERA+ is 100) between time with the Marlins, the Twins, and the A’s. Romo is among the top pitchers in the league in allowing soft contact. In 2021, he was ranked in the 100th percentile in HardHit% and the 98th percentile in average exit velocity. To add to the fun, his average fastball velocity is a sizzling 86 MPH (1st percentile).
The Mariners are spending $2 million on a guy who can be crafty, elicit weak contact, and can show the young relievers what it takes to be successful at the highest level. Romo has been praised by people around the league for his amazing clubhouse presence. I can only imagine he’ll fit perfectly with characters like Eugenio Suarez, JP Crawford, Jesse Winker, Paul Sewald, and soon, Julio Rodriguez. Sergio Romo will add to the “good vibes only.”
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