J.C. Romero Rumors

Romero Opts Out With Nats; Nearing Deal With Indians

TUESDAY: Romero's deal with the Indians will become official if he passes a physical, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter link).  Romero will report to Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. 

MONDAY: Left-hander J.C. Romero has opted out of his minor league contract with the Nationals and is working to finalize a new minor league deal with the Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Romero, who turns 37 tomorrow, had a 2.84 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks in 12 2/3 innings for Washington's Triple-A affiliate this season. According to Rosenthal, Romero would likely be ticketed for Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus. Amanda Comak of the Washington Times notes (on Twitter) that Romero is on the minor league disabled list.

In parts of 14 Major League seasons, Romero has a 4.16 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9. He's held opposing lefties to a .220/.314/.298 in his career. Most of his 661 1/3 career innings were spent with the Twins, who selected the Puerto Rico native in the 21st round of the 1997 draft. Romero is the only player with a significant MLB career to come from that round, although outfielder Mike Colangelo saw some brief time in the big leagues as well.


NL Notes: Amarista, Nationals, Morse, Krol

 Here are a few National League notes as we head into the weekend:

  • Padres utilityman Alexi Amarista has switched his representation to Martin Arburua, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Per MLBTR's Agency Database, Amarista was formerly represented by Proformance. The 24-year-old, who has slashed .280/.309/.452 in 98 plate appearances thus far in 2013, is set to be arbitration eligible beginning in 2015.
  • The Nationals are approaching opt-out deadlines for two left-handed relievers that are currently stashed in the minors, explains James Wagner of the Washington Post. Both J.C. Romero and Bill Bray are eligible to elect free agency in June if they are not added to the big league roster. While Washington still has uncertainty in its lefty bullpen options, with Zach Duke scuffling and Fernando Abad only recently added to the squad, its decisions on Romero and Bray will be complicated by injuries to the two southpaws. Romero last saw action on May 8; Bray's last appearance was May 14. Of course, the Nats could always seek to extend those opt-out dates, which could be beneficial to both the team and the players.
  • The major decision facing the Nationals this past offseason was whether to bring back free agent Adam LaRoche and, if so, what to do with slugging outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse. With over a quarter of the season in the bag, the Washington Post's Adam Kilogre looks back at the team's ultimate decision to re-sign LaRoche and send Morse to the Mariners. Given the way the season has developed, Kilgore posits, Morse would likely have already been able to achieve over 100 at-bats even with LaRoche in the fold. It is easy to second-guess the decision with Morse's solid start (.244/.310/.462 but with ten long balls) and the struggles of young power-hitter Tyler Moore (.121/.157/.227 and just one home run in 70 plate appearances). Nevertheless, Kilgore explains, the club was not only concerned with carrying Morse's salary and relegating a still-in-his-prime veteran to a secondary role, but needed to recoup some future value after dealing high-end prospect Alex Meyer for center fielder Denard Span
  • As Kilgore notes, the Nats not only landed high-upside pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen in the Morse trade, but also were entitled to a player-to-be-named later. The PTBNL turned into another arm, left-handed reliever Ian Krol, who has flashed promise in his time with the organization. Kilgore points out that Krol has given up only two runs over 22 2/3 innings while working out of the pen for the Nats' Double-A affiliate. The 22-year-old Krol adds another internal option to supplement the team's less-than-inspiring southpaw relief corps.

Nationals Sign J.C. Romero

The Nationals announced that they have agreed to sign left-hander J.C. Romero to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training (Twitter link). Praver/Shapiro represents Romero.

Romero, who pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic this month, had brief stints with the Cardinals and Orioles in 2012. The 36-year-old spent much of last year at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.74 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 23 innings for the International League affiliates of the Indians and Orioles. Romero, a veteran of 14 MLB seasons, said last summer that he was considering retirement.

The Nationals have a righty-heavy bullpen figures to include left-hander Zach Duke. Southpaws Fernando Abad and Bill Bray are other options in the organization. Manager Davey Johnson views Romero as "insurance," Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter).



J.C. Romero Granted Free Agency

MONDAY: Romero has been granted free agency, tweets Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. Romero will be free to sign with any team if he decides against retirement.

FRIDAY: The Orioles have designated left-handed reliever J.C. Romero for assignment, Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Baltimore acquired Romero from the Indians 11 days ago and purchased his contract from the minor leagues the following day. The 14-year veteran said he's now considering retirement, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter).

Romero appeared in two games for the Orioles before getting removed from their roster. The 36-year-old has spent considerable time at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.74 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 23 innings for the International League affiliates of the Indians and Orioles this year.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Orioles Acquire J.C. Romero

The Orioles have acquired J.C. Romero from the Indians for minor league infielder Carlos Rojas, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (all Twitter links). The southpaw signed a minor league deal with Baltimore in May, but exercised his opt-out clause in July.

Romero, 36, signed a minor league contract with the Indians last month. He allowed nine runs in eight innings for the Cardinals earlier this season, and has pitched to a 2.74 ERA in 23 Triple-A innings since. Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer says (on Twitter) that Romero could have opted out of his contract with Cleveland on Wednesday, but they weren't ready to call him up.

Rojas, 28, hit .226/.285/.248 in 147 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He spent some time in the Cubs' farm system earlier in his career and has never been called up to the big leagues.


Indians Sign J.C. Romero

9:32pm: Romero can opt out of his contract if he is not called up the big leagues by August 15th according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).

4:07pm: The Indians have signed left-hander J.C. Romero to a minor league deal, according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer (via Twitter).  The veteran has been assigned to Triple-A Columbus.

Romero, 36, opted out of his deal with the Orioles and elected free agency last month.  The reliever initially hooked on with the Cardinals back in December but was cut loose just six weeks into the season.  Romero owns a career 4.15 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.


J.C. Romero Elects Free Agency

Left-hander J.C. Romero opted out of his deal with the Orioles and elected free agency, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Orioles signed the 14-year MLB veteran a month ago and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate.

The Cardinals signed Romero to a one-year deal worth $750K plus incentives back in December only to release him six weeks into the season. After signing on with the Orioles the 35-year-old MDR Sports Management client posted a 2.51 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 14 1/3 innings (17 appearances) at Norfolk. He has a 4.15 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 657 1/3 career innings.


Orioles To Sign J.C. Romero

The Orioles announced that they've agreed to sign left-hander J.C. Romero to a minor-league deal, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets. MDR Sports Management represents Romero, a veteran of 14 MLB seasons. He will report to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Cardinals signed Romero to a one-year deal worth $750K plus incentives back in December only to release him six weeks into the season. The 35-year-old appeared in 11 games with St. Louis this year, allowing 14 runs and nine earned runs in eight innings of work. He spent the 2011 season with the Phillies and Rockies, posting a 4.01 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 and a 54.4% ground ball rate in 24 2/3 innings.


Cardinals Release J.C. Romero

The Cardinals announced that they've released left-handed reliever J.C. Romero (Twitter link). The team activated right-hander Eduardo Sanchez in a related move. MDR Sports Management represents Romero, a veteran of 14 MLB seasons.

The Cardinals signed Romero to a one-year deal worth $750K plus incentives back in December. The 35-year-old appeared in 11 games this year, allowing 14 runs and nine earned runs in eight innings of work. He spent the 2011 season with the Phillies and Rockies, posting a 4.01 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 and a 54.4% ground ball rate in 24 2/3 innings.


Cardinals Sign J.C. Romero

The Cardinals announced that they signed J.C. Romero to a one-year deal in a move that will add left-handed depth to their bullpen. MDR Sports Management represents the 35-year-old reliever, who signed for $750K plus incentives, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). 

Romero spent the 2011 season with the Phillies and Rockies. He posted a 4.01 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 and a characteristically high 54.4% ground ball rate in 24 2/3 innings. With Arthur Rhodes on the free agent market, Marc Rzepczynski was the Cardinals' lone established left-handed reliever until GM John Mozeliak added Romero. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday that the sides were nearing a deal.