PHOENIX — The Dodgers on Wednesday made official their signing of relief pitcher Sergio Romo to a one-year contract, worth a reported $3 million.
Romo was in Dodgers camp earlier today to take his physical, but since the deal at that time wasn’t official he was not available to reporters.
Romo last week at Dodger Stadium, when he was announced as part of Mexico’s roster in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, said, “It was part of the childhood dream playing Dodger Stadium, to have Vin Scully say your name and all that good stuff.”
"He obviously has a lot of October experience, a lot of experience pitching late in games and in pennant races,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “As we looked at our bullpen and the current configuration, someone who was elite right-versus-right was attractive to us, and from our standpoint he's one of the best right-on-right guys out there.“
Romo held right-handed hitters to .234/.272/.403 in limited duty last season, and in his career has limited righties to just .187/.226/.311.
Manager Dave Roberts was hesitant to say Romo was his eighth inning setup man, preferring not to limit his role.
"Last year our bullpen was one of the best in baseball, if not the best in baseball, and a lot of that lent itself to being unselfish,” Roberts said. “There will be a lot of times when Sergio pitches the eighth inning, and times when he doesn't.”
Friedman said Romo spoke with Roberts a few times before signing with the Dodgers, and communicated that he would be willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Romo also reportedly took less to join the Dodgers, turning down an offer from the Rays that was the high bid for the right-hander, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Friedman credited the evolving culture of the organization for helping to foster that.
"Part of that culture is having an environment that is conducive to winning. Where guys are put in positions to succeed, guys are doing everything they can to win games,” Friedman explained. “It feeds off one another, and where you see that really play out is your own free agents want to stay and word gets around the league and guys want to come here and play. That's the ultimate goal.”
Romo will wear number 54 with the Dodgers, the same number he wore all nine years with the Giants. That previously belonged to bullpen catcher Josh Bard, who was happy to give up the number.
"Uniform numbers are for the players," Bard quipped.
In addition to his $3 million base salary, Romo can earn up to $250,000 in performance bonuses, per the Associated Press. He gets $125,000 if he pitches in 50 games, and another $125,000 if he reaches 60 games.
Romo’s first bullpen session with his new team is scheduled for Friday.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed pitcher Yimi Garcia on the 60-day disabled list.