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Sergio Romo Signs Non-Roster Deal With Giants For Likely Final Appearance


Veteran reliever Sergio Romo has signed with the Giants on a minor league deal with a non-roster invite to Spring Training, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. According to Baggarly, the plan is for Romo to pitch in the team’s Bay Bridge exhibition against the A’s at the end of Spring Training as a farewell tour for Romo, who pitched in nine seasons for the Giants and won the World Series with the club in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Though the Giants are leaving the door open to Romo pitching his way onto the roster, the right-hander spoke very much like someone who expects this to be a ceremonial final stop.

“I’m not coming here to make a team,” Romo tells Baggarly, “I can’t make this team right now. Mainly I’m not trying to. I like where I am in life, seeing my kids as often as I can.”

Romo’s career began in San Francisco in 2008, his age-25 season. He impressed in his debut campaign, posting a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings of work. After a difficult 2009 season where Romo’s ERA was nearly two runs higher than his FIP, he returned to form in a 2010 season that would kick off a four-year stretch of utter dominance. During that time, he posted a sterling 2.03 ERA (178 ERA+) in 225 2/3 innings while striking out 261. That four-year stretch saw Romo collect two World Series rings (one of which he earned by striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the 2012 World Series) and his sole career All-Star appearance.

The 2014 season was something of a step back for Romo, however, even as his club won its third World Series in five years. Romo posted his first below average season of his career by ERA+. His 3.72 ERA was 7% worse than league average by that metric, and unlike his difficult 2009 season, his FIP wasn’t up to his previous standards either, standing at 3.94. Fortunately, Romo would return to form as an above-average reliever for his last two seasons in a Giants uniform, posting a 2.87 ERA (137 ERA+) in 88 innings of work, with an even stronger 2.57 FIP.

Ultimately, Romo was a phenomenal reliever during his tenure with San Francisco, pitching to a 2.58 ERA (146 ERA+) in 515 games while striking out 498 and collecting 87 saves. He also pitched well in the postseason, posting a 3.06 ERA in his 23 1/3 innings of work for the Giants in the postseason, including six scoreless appearances in World Series games.

In the six years following his departure from the Giants organization, Romo would pitch for seven different organizations: the Dodgers, Rays, Marlins, Twins, A’s, and Blue Jays. Despite those years accounting for his mid-to-late thirties, Romo was still a league average reliever during that time, with his 4.20 ERA over those 283 innings translating to an ERA+ of exactly 100.

In the event that this marks the end of his career, Romo, who celebrated his 40th birthday earlier this month, will have appeared in 821 regular season games while finishing 301 over his decade and a half tenure in the major leagues, with a 3.21 career ERA. He also racked up 137 saves and 204 holds along the way.

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