All things being equal, I’m pretty sure that Sergio Romo will give his team a better chance to get outs in 2017 than Cory Gearrin. That’s based on statistics and eyeballs, and it’s not a very controversial assertion. But all things are not equal, and Romo will cost millions more than Gearrin next season, which means the Giants’ choice to move on is defensible.
Defensible. But it’s not going to be easy. Because there are pitfalls this this amicable separation:
Sources: Romo choosing between #Dodgers and second, unidentified club. LAD also talking to other relievers, including Blanton.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 3, 2017
You knew it was coming. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA and I have been joking about it since September. It just makes too much sense. Not only is Romo a recovering Dodgers fan, but he has family in Southern California, and the Dodgers have an acute need for late-inning right-handed bullpen help. Oh, and money. They have money, too.
There aren’t that many reasons for the Dodgers not to sign Romo, just as there aren’t that many reasons for Romo not to take the Dodgers’ money. Before you get haughty, please note that I would quit my current job and write Tommy Lasorda: The American Dream Personified for $500,000, much less $6 million or so. Romo owes the Giants as much as the Giants owe him: the usual respect and a basket filled with memories of the good times.
It is important to note, of course, that Romo was actually quite good last year, and that he reclaimed his magic slider toward the end of the season. He was one of the only Giants relievers worth a damn in that horrible September, even if he was also a part of the October sadness, too. The Giants’ bullpen should be better next year because it would be hard to be worse, but there are still question marks. We’ve talked about Gearrin, but there are a lot of reasons to be suspicious of George Kontos, too. If Romo were on the roster, he would be one of the team’s four best right-handed relievers, which seems important for a team desperate for bullpen help.
With the Giants already over the salary-cap tax, though, a $6 million Romo would be a $9 million Romo, and a $9 million middle reliever might affect the team’s ability to make a deadline acquisition. It might not be Romo v. Kontos, but Romo v. Kontos and the ability to trade for J.D. Martinez in July. That seems like a bigger deal.
That means Romo shouldn’t worry about anything other than picking the best spot for himself, and the best spot would roughly be defined as a contending team with lots of money that plays in a pitcher’s park on the West Coast. So, yeah.
Maybe the Giants should look into Hanley Ramirez. Just a thought.
I’m fully expecting the Dodgers to sign Romo at this point, even if I’m rooting for Mystery Team. Promise me you won’t get mad at him. Promise me you’ll remember the good times. Promise me you’ll think of this ...
And this ...
And this ...
And, uh, this ...
... instead of whatever happens next. Because we have an idea of what happens next. And it isn’t very pretty.