Reports: Mariners sign 3-time World Series champion reliever Sergio Romo

Mar 23, 2022, 9:25 AM | Updated: 10:04 am
Mariners Sergio Romo...
Sergio Romo of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago White Sox. (David Banks/Getty Images)
(David Banks/Getty Images)

The Mariners lost a go-to reliever for the season in recent days, but they’re reportedly adding a proven veteran arm to the bullpen on a major league deal. That reliever would be Sergio Romo, a 39-year-old hander who is entering his 15th MLB season.

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Jesse Sanchez of was the first to report the signing. Later, Joel Sherman of the New York Post added that the deal is a major league contract – pending a physical – worth $2 million.

Romo is best known for his nine-year run with the San Francisco Giants from 2008-16, where he was an All-Star in 2013 and won three World Series titles. Romo was a key part of San Francisco’s bullpen during its three title runs, and he recorded the last out of the 2012 World Series, striking out star Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in Game 4 to clinch the Giants’ series win.

During his nine seasons with the Giants, appeared in 518 games, posting a 2.58 ERA, 2.71 FIP and 0.955 WHIP in 439 2/3 innings while striking out 10.2 batters per nine innings and picking up 84 saves.

After nine years with the Giants, Romo has bounced around the league, spending time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins and, most recently, the Oakland A’s.

Despite being among MLB’s oldest players, Romo has been durable throughout his career and of late. In the shortened 60-game season in 2020, Romo appeared in 24 games (20 innings) for the Twins.

Last year with the A’s, Romo pitched in 66 games (61 2/3 innings).

In 2021, Romo posted a 4.67 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 1.249 WHIP and 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings for Oakland.

In addition to being known for his stellar run with the Giants, Romo is also known for his trademark slider, which he throws a ton.

In 2021, Romo threw the slider 55.7% of the time, per Statcast. He used it 64.6% of the time in 2020, 59.6% in 2019, 58% in 2018 and 58.4% in 2017.

As far as other pitches go, Romo has never been a high-velocity guy as his career-best average fastball/sinker mph came way back in 2009, where he averaged just over 90 mph with his 4-seam fastball and sinker, per Statcast. He’s effectively scrapped the 4-seamer in recent years, and his sinker – used 31.5% of the time in 2021, per Statcast – averaged 85.5 mph on 328 pitches.

Romo has shown an ability to miss bats, especially early in his career, but what he has done exceptionally well is limit hard contact.

In 2021, despite ranking in the 1st percentile in fastball velocity, Romo was in the 98th percentile in average exit velocity at just 84.9 mph while ranking at the very top (100th percentile) in hard hit percentage. He also was still missing bats at a good clip with a 73rd percentile whiff rate and 70th percentile chase rate.

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Reports: Mariners sign 3-time World Series champion reliever Sergio Romo