Oakland Athletics: Signing Sergio Romo could solidify the bullpen

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics are reportedly one of three teams interested in RHP Sergio Romo. Signing the veteran reliever could wind up quelling some of the late-inning drama the bullpen subjected fans to in 2019.

One of the major areas of weakness for the Oakland Athletics came in the form of a very volatile bullpen. We’ve already seen signs that the A’s are serious about fixing that problem by 2020.

The A’s have emerged as one of the teams vying for Sergio Romo’s services.

Romo will mostly be remembered for his time closing out games for the San Francisco Giants. There, he secured his lone all-star appearance in 2013. He posted an impressive 2.58 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 498 strikeouts, and 84 saves in his time there.

His career since there has been pretty inconsistent.

He’s played for four different teams since last leaving the Bay Area. He posted a 6.12 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers before putting up a 1.47 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017.

Most recently, Romo split his season between the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins. Even at age 36, he was able to post a 3.43 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

In his last three ventures into free agency, Romo has scattered a couple of one-year deals valued around $3 million.

At the surface level alone, Romo completely fits the mold of a player that the A’s would take a chance on. They rolled with everyone from Ryan Madson to Fernando Rodney to Santiago Casilla to Joakim Soria in the last couple of seasons.

The price looks right.

Of course, that price could creep up to around $5 million if there are other teams interested in him — which there should be. But where the A’s might not be able to outbid teams with dollar value, they could theoretically outbid with contract length.

Sergio Romo’s pitching profile isn’t anything that should be able to work, but it certainly has been.

He’s throwing his slider over half the time to batters now. He has a fastball that sits around 86 mph. But somehow, it works.

While there have been inconsistent stretches during his days with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he’s been extremely consistent in one area that should shoot him to the top of the list of low-budget needs that the A’s have this offseason.

Since 2015, he has a 92.5 percent success rate with save/hold opportunities.

The A’s might have Liam Hendriks firmly placed in the closer’s role next season, but the setup role will surely be a work in progress.

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Someone like Lou Trivino could certainly bounce back and find themselves getting late-inning opportunities. Perhaps a veteran like Soria could live up to the potential that the A’s had in mind when they first signed him.

With so many questions about who might be able to solidify the backend of the bullpen, Sergio Romo would be a perfect option.

Though he’s become a junk-throwing righty in recent years, he would be the perfect arm to throw batters off as they attempt to prepare for Hendriks’ elite fastball. He’s the antithesis to what Hendriks has become in every way but efficiency.

The A’s may also be interested in Romo based on the fact that he’s been one of the better “openers” since the strategy was first implemented a couple of seasons ago.

There will be plenty of talented starting pitchers in the mix, but the A’s still seem interested in throwing out a solid reliever to start games out before having a starter give them six innings afterward.

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With Hendriks officially moved out of that role, Romo could slide in there — that is, if the A’s are still unabashed about committing to a philosophy that fans groan about.

A two-year deal worth about $7 million would be a safe offer for Romo.

That second year could potentially be made a mutual option, but there shouldn’t be too many teams willing to go beyond a year-to-year deal with the aging former all-star.

Much of this will depend on how negotiations are going with Blake Treinen, who was non-tendered by the A’s last week but is currently engaged with the team again.

Regardless, the Oakland Athletics should be interested in monitoring Sergio Romo’s free agency.

Next. Oakland Athletics: Breaking down the Jurickson Profar trade. dark

They might end up getting a steal to cement their bullpen.