Potential Pinstripes: Sergio Romo
We’re almost there Yankee fans! There is less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa for the start of spring training and I bet you’re all looking forward to it just like we are. At this point in the offseason free agency has generally slowed to a crawl, with very little news coming in daily and very little notable free agents left on the market. Brian Cashman said recently that he believes the team is done spending for the winter and as is usually the case with him, we have no way of knowing if he’s just playing it cool or if he has actually packed it in. If he has in fact called it an offseason and the Yankees will enter the season with their roster as is, although it has been on the quieter side, Cashman did accomplish a few primary goals. He brought in Matt Holiday to fill the DH role and landed Aroldis Chapman as their big fish. But perhaps Cashman can continue bolstering the bullpen with another free agent who has yet to sign.
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Securing Chapman was an important move for the Yankees even though the cost was high. Andrew Miller is gone and although Dellin Betances is supremely talented, his performance as the closer the last two months of last season was inconsistent. Part of that could have been attributed to inexperience or fatigue as the season wore on but either way you look at it left the Yankees in a position where they needed to shore up their bullpen. Even though the pickings left on the market are slim, I believe a prime candidate to help them continue to bolster their bullpen is still out there in Sergio Romo.
Romo has spent his entire nine year career with the San Francisco Giants and has played an integral role in the Giants World Series titles over that time. He has pitched in multiple roles including a successful stint as a closer posting 75 saves over a three year period between 2012 and 2014. Since then, Santiago Casillas has taken over the closer role in San Francisco and Romo has moved into a late inning/setup role. It is in this capacity that he would be most useful to this Yankees team. Adding Romo to the Yankees current bullpen group would make them one of the more unique groups in all of baseball, featuring four guys in Chapman, Betances, Romo and Tyler Clippard who all have late inning and/or closer experience. Having multiple pitchers in that mold would allow them to dramatically shorten games and bring in Dellin Betances earlier in games in the fireman role he has often been seen in. This would help them protect their starting rotation which they still definitely have concerns about. It would also allow them to use a few of these of these guys every night and still keep them fresh over the course of the season. With the Yankees concerning rotation depth, anything they could do to shorten games and shore up the bullpen would definitely be worth looking into.
For his career Romo has pitched to 2.58 ERA in the regular season with 84 career saves in 515 career games pitched. He has been very durable, pitching in at least 64 games in six out of nine seasons. He also has extensive postseason experience and has had a lot of success there in his career. He has a 3.09 career postseason ERA including an ERA of 1.23 for his career in the LCS and an ERA of zero over six innings pitched in the World Series. Romo has had success at the highest levels and in the situations where the pressure is at its greatest and with the Yankees postseason aspirations being what they are every year, adding another player with that kind of experience could only be a good thing.
Sergio Romo is an experienced and versatile pitcher who has had a lot of success in many roles throughout his career. He has been successful as a set-up man and as a closer and has used this versatility to succeed at the highest levels of the sport. This kind of skill set would greatly benefit a team with a pitching situation like the Yankees. An additional arm at the back of the bullpen would allow them to support their suspect starting rotation and get to the studs of the bullpen sooner. Although his workload and his age of 33 (and possibly his beard) may be causes for concern, his talent and skill set would make him more than a worthwhile candidate for a short-term deal to bring him to the Bronx.
Article by: Matt GrazianoFollow @mattgraz930