In search for another reliever for their bullpen, the Dodgers may poach a veteran from their biggest rival. The team is working toward a deal with Sergio Romo, a native of Brawley who had spent the entirety of his nine-year career in San Francisco.
"I followed them as a kid, but we became rivals in San Francisco,” Romo told reporters in Culiacan, Mexico, where he was pitching for Team Mexico in the Caribbean Series. “And truthfully, it was something that came up when I was kid. I’ve never put on a Dodgers uniform, not even in Little League. You never know if it will happen now, only God knows. We’ll have to wait, but there are talks."
The Dodgers have been trawling the relief market as they put the final touches on their roster before spring training. Pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch in Arizona on Feb. 15.
Romo, 33, closed for the Giants during their world championship run in 2012. He relinquished the closer’s job to Sergio Casilla in 2014, but he remained an effective member of the Giants bullpen. During the past three seasons, he posted a 3.21 earned-run average with 10 strikeouts per nine innings and a 5.62 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Romo appeared in only 40 games last year after straining his flexor tendon in April. He missed two months.
Given his pedigree, Romo could have an expansive role with this bullpen, perhaps an heir to Joe Blanton’s mantle as a slider-favoring veteran to set up for Kenley Jansen. But Romo’s primary utility is his ability to handle right-handed hitters. In his career, he has limited right-handed hitters to a .187 batting average.
That quality would add balance to a bullpen that is saturated with left-handed pitchers. From Grant Dayton and Luis Avilan to Alex Wood and Vidal Nuno, the team appears to have that side covered. But the hierarchy of right-handers is less clear.
Pedro Baez was a useful contributor in 2016, but remains maddening because of his laborious pace on the mound. Josh Fields impressed the Dodgers after he was acquired from Houston in August, but he left the Astros with a 6.89 ERA earlier in the year. Josh Ravin looked dominant when called up in September, but was ineligible for the playoffs because he violated baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy earlier in the year.
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