The Athletics have agreed to a one-year deal with Sergio Romo, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). Romo will be paid $2.25MM, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Romo is represented by Meister Sports Management.
Romo hit the open market after the Twins bought out their $5MM 2021 club option on the right-hander for $250K back in October. Originally acquired by Minnesota in a deal at the 2019 trade deadline, Romo will now head back to the Bay Area, where he starred on the other side of the Bay Bridge pitching out of the Giants’ bullpen from 2008-16.
Since leaving the Giants following the 2016 season, Romo hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was during his San Francisco heyday, with some increase in his home run and walk rates over the last four seasons. But overall, Romo has still been an effective reliever as he approaches his 38th birthday, including posting a 4.05 ERA and an above-average 26.4K% and 18.4K-BB% over 20 innings with Minnesota in 2020. Statcast graded Romo as a plus contributor (if not really elite) in every category across the board last season, and his 3.82 SIERA indicates that Romo was perhaps even slightly unlucky from an ERA standpoint.
Between Romo and the re-signed Yusmeiro Petit, the Athletics have added two veteran workhorses for the bullpen in a single evening. Petit leads all pitchers in appearances since the start of the 2017 season, while Romo averaged 56 innings and 63 appearances per season from 2010-19. Romo worked as a regular closer with the Rays in 2018 and the Marlins in 2019, and he could pick up some save opportunities should Jake Diekman (the favorite for ninth-inning duty in Oakland) run into any difficulties. For now, Romo looks to slot in as a set-up man.