The Dodgers added to their bullpen, reportedly agreeing to terms with former Giants closer Sergio Romo on a free agent contract, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, a one-year deal per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
The deal is pending a physical, though it is also worth noting that Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that a deal isn’t yet done and that a second, mystery team is still bidding for Romo’s services.
Romo on Thursday was said to be choosing between the Dodgers and one other, unidentified team, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Romo had a 2.64 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 40 games for the Giants in 2016, with 33 strikeouts and seven walks in 30⅔ innings. He missed 77 games with a flexor strain in his right arm before returning to San Francisco in July.
He turns 34 in March, and made $8 million in 2016 at the end of a two-year contract signed before the 2015 season.
Right-handed batters hit .234/.272/.403 with a 29.6% strikeout rate against Romo last season, and have hit just .187/.226/.311 with a 35.8% strikeout rate in his career.
The idea of Romo, who pitched for the Giants for the last nine years, eventually joining the Dodgers has been a long-running topic, especially since he grew up in Dodgers country in Brawley.
Romo’s father idolized Fernando Valenzuela, and Romo’s grandfather was such a Dodgers fan that when the Giants in 2005 drafted his grandson he said, "Anybody but them!"
Romo definitely gives the Dodgers bullpen a unique look, different than most of the rest of the relief corps. He won’t light up the radar gun, but his slider remains quite effective, and he relies on it, throwing the pitch 62.4% of the time in 2016 per Brooks Baseball, and 51% of the time in his career.
Opposing batters against Romo’s slider in 2016 were just 14-for-81, hitting .173/.221/.309 with five walks and 27 strikeouts. Per FanGraphs, Romo’s slider was good for 2.52 runs above average per 100 pitches, good for 21st among MLB relievers, and his slider has been at least two runs above average per 100 pitches in eight of his nine MLB seasons.
Romo also has closing experience, with 84 career saves with San Francisco, including 38 in 2013.