With a completely new front office, the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to make a splash in free agency this winter and truth be told, they might not.
That doesn’t mean the Dodgers won’t be looking for free agents to fill holes on the roster. We take a look at some of those potential names that could find themselves in Los Angeles next year.
Today, we examine a right-handed relief pitcher that has been a thorn in their side with the San Francisco Giants for the past few years.
Sergio Romo lost his job as the closer in 2014, but he recovered to have a strong finish to the season and in the postseason. He finished with a 3.72 ERA in 58 innings over 64 appearances.
Why The Dodgers SHOULD Sign Him
It’s no secret that the Dodger bullpen was a huge reason they were unable to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. While Clayton Kershaw took the losses, it was because there was no consistent arm ready to take over in the seventh inning. Romo would give the team another former closer, but one with a better track record over the past few years. He would project as a late-inning guy that is used to the pressure and is able to come in to get outs. He would instantly become the third-best reliever on the roster.
Despite his higher than usual ERA, Romo’s 2014 campaign was a tale of two halves. In the second half of the season, he had a 1.80 ERA in 24 games and solidified the bridge to closer Santiago Casillas. In seven innings in the playoffs, the right-hander allowed just one run and helped the Giants win the World Series. Overall, he has a 2.11 ERA in the postseason in his career. He’s been in the pressure before and has done well.
Despite being a one-trick pony, Romo’s one trick is better than most. His slider continues to get outs. In 2014, batters hit just .189 against his slider. The former All-Star threw the pitch almost twice as much as his fastball and more than all his other pitches combined. In his career, he’s been even better with this slider, holding opponents to just a .160 batting average. It’s an effective and proven pitch.
Why The Dodgers SHOULD NOT Sign Him
Besides the fact that many fans have grown to hate Romo, there are a few other reasons the Dodgers should be weary of signing him. Although he finished the season strong, Romo allowed nine home runs in 2014. In the two seasons prior, he allowed 10 home runs combined. Also, despite his BABIP being lower than the year before, Romo’s allowed more runs than the year before. His walk rate also went up and his rate of stranding runners went down. It could just be a blip on the radar, or it could be a sign of more to come.
Romo hasn’t publicly said anything about his role, but it would be likely that he wants to remain a closer if he leaves San Francisco. Closers make more money and get more of the glory, something Romo should want. The Dodgers don’t have a need for a closer, meaning they would likely have to overpay in order to sign him, much like they did with Brian Wilson last winter. Paying relievers a lot of money has not worked out well in the past, starting with Wilson among others throughout the league.
Potential Contract/ Chances Of Landing In LA
Romo is in the second tier of available relievers because of his demotion from closer. Thus far, only Zach Duke has signed a significant reliever deal getting $15 million over three years. Romo could get a two or three-year deal worth about $3-4 million annually.
The Giants will likely try to re-sign Romo at a discount, but depending on the market, Romo could command better money elsewhere. It appears the Dodgers will not go for any big names in free agency, leaving Romo off their radar. The chances we see Romo in Los Angeles sit around 10% at the moment.