Sergio Romo Rumors

Giants, Romo Unlikely To Discuss Extension During Season

The Giants are interested in locking up closer Sergio Romo, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but the two sides aren’t likely to talk about a new contract during the season. According to Heyman, while the sides are “open” to re-engaging, Romo and the Giants have agreed to not let the talks disrupt the season for the time being.

That, of course, does not mean that the 31-year-old Romo is a lock to reach free agency. The Giants hammered out an extension for Hunter Pence last September just prior to the season’s completion, and they negotiated a new two-year deal for Tim Lincecum before he filed for free agency. San Francisco GM Brian Sabean has shown an affinity for retaining his players, recently signing Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez to new multi-year deals upon the expiration of their previous deals with the Giants. He also signed Matt Cain to a five-year extension (with a sixth-year option) to keep the right-hander from hitting the open market.

Romo is off to a nice start to the 2014 season, having pitched to a 1.88 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 52.8 percent ground-ball rate. ERA estimators such as FIP and xFIP aren’t as bullish on his work to this point, but such metrics have, in the past, agreed that Romo’s skill set is that of an elite reliever. In 308 innings at the Major League level (all coming with the Giants), Romo has a 2.25 ERA (2.59 FIP, 2.98 xFIP) and has averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Should he hit the open market, Romo could be perceived as the prize of the reliever market next offseason. He’d be joined by names like Jason Grilli, LaTroy Hawkins, Jim Johnson, Casey Janssen and potentially Rafael Soriano, assuming his $14MM option is declined. Huston Street could hit the open market as well, though it stands to reason that his $7MM club option will be exercised as long as he is healthy. If not, he wouldn’t provide much competition for Romo anyhow.

Romo is a client of Meister Sports Management, as shown in MLBTR’s Agency Database. A look at MLBTR’s Extension Tracker shows that Meister Sports was the agency behind Romo’s previous two-year deal with the Giants (which bought out his remaining arbitration years) as well as the four-year, $12MM extension signed by Cory Luebke with the Padres and the three-year, $16.5MM pact inked by Sean Marshall with the Reds. Clearly, a deal to buy out multiple free agent seasons for Romo would top those contracts with relative ease.


Giants Notes: Zito, Wilson, Theriot, Romo

Giants pitcher Barry Zito says that he would be open to a contract extension and wants to stay a Giant until he retires, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  The left-hander is entering the final year of his seven-year, $126MM deal, which includes a $7MM buyout for his option on the 2014 season.  Zito can have the full $18MM option vest with 200 innings of work in 2013.  He hasn't reached that total since 2006, but he has come within eight innings of 200 in three of his seasons in San Francisco.  Here's more on the Giants, courtesy of Schulman..

  • General Manager Sabean says he and Brian Wilson just aren't on the same page, Schulman tweets.  Wilson wants more guaranteed money in the deal while the Giants want something heavily based on incentives. 
  • Sabean said he "lost contact" with Theriot after a winter meetings overture, according to Schulman (on Twitter).  Sabean also says that he is open to talking about a long-term deal with Buster Posey.  If the Giants start things up with Theriot again, they'll have competition from the Indians, Rangers, and others.
  • If Sergio Romo pitches a true closer's workload, his two-year, $9MM deal could rise to $10.5MM in total with incentives and escalators for games finished, Schulman tweets.

Giants, Romo Agree To Two-Year Deal

9:34pm: Romo gets $3.5MM in 2013 and $5.5MM in 2014, good for $9MM in total, according to Dan Plesac of the MLB Network (on Twitter).

6:24pm: The Giants announced that they have avoided arbitration with closer Sergio Romo by agreeing to a two-year deal.  Romo is represented by Meister Sports Management.

This deal takes care of Romo's remaining arbitration seasons and he will still hit the open market following the 2014 season as planned.  With the closer under contract, the Giants now have taken care of all of their arbitration eligible players this winter.  Terms of the deal are not yet known.  The right-hander filed for $4.5MM while the Giants countered with $2.675MM when figures were exchanged in January.

Romo, 29, posted a 1.79 ERA last season with 10.2 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 69 relief appearances last season.  The two sides also dodged arbitration last winter when they agreed to a one-year, $1.575MM deal. 



Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details…


Giants, Romo Avoid Arbitration

The Giants avoided arbitration with Sergio Romo, agreeing to a one-year deal, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. The 28-year-old right-hander will earn $1.575MM in 2012, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, Romo filed for $1.75MM while the Giants countered at $1.3MM for a midpoint of $1.525MM.

Romo posted a 1.50 ERA with 13.1 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 48 innings for the Giants in 2011. The Meister Sports Management client is under team control through 2014.  Tim Lincecum, who filed for a record $21.5MM, is San Francisco's lone unsigned arbitration eligible player.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Jays, Bell, Davis, Dunn

On this date in 2002, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network launched. Although the regional network barely broke even that year, YES has gone on to generate millions in revenue, much of which goes right into the Yankees' pockets. As recently as 2008, there was talk that the network was worth more than the team itself.

After you wrap your head around that, here are some links to check out from around the baseball blogosphere…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.