We are still waiting for the first real addition to the Red Sox this winter, but with the Winter Meetings underway there is a chance it happens this week. It has been assumed the biggest areas of focus this winter would be the rotation, backup catcher and the right side of the infield, but the bullpen could use a little help as well. As it turns out, they are reportedly among the teams showing interest in veteran righty Sergio Romo.
Sergio Romo is drawing significant interest: a’s, twins, marlins, phillies, Red Sox, perhaps even giants, where Romo won rings and closed out 2012 Workd Series. Deal likely will come at meetings.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2019
The Red Sox bullpen, to be fair, was solid enough last year. It wasn’t an elite group but it mostly took care of the task at hand while having Brandon Workman emerge as a legitimately awesome back-end arm. There is regression coming his way in the form of results on batted balls, but that should be at least partially counteracted by having Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez up for the full season. That said, there is plenty of room for at least one more arm, and it looks like Romo is at least one of the candidates to fill that spot.
The veteran is most well known for his time in the Giants bullpen where he served in a key role on all three World Series teams in the first half of this past decade. The righty is no longer at that level as he gets set to enter his age-37 season, but he has still been solid. In 2019 he tossed a total of 60 1⁄3 innings with a 3.43 ERA, a 3.66 FIP and a 4.62 DRA. He was particularly effective later in the year after a deadline deal that landed him in Minnesota, improving both his strikeout and walk rates as well as all three metrics listed above.
His fit with the Red Sox would probably put him somewhere in the third to fifth range in the current pecking order, though that kind of thing is subject to quick changes throughout the year. That Boston would have interest makes sense given his leadership capabilities and, perhaps more importantly, his connection with Chaim Bloom. Romo spent half of 2017 and all of 2018 in Tampa Bay, most famously being the first reliever to buy into the “opener” role. It should also be noted that Romo is particularly good against righties, which can come in handy with the American League’s top teams being loaded with right-handed talent at the plate.
As Heyman notes, there are plenty of teams interested in the veteran’s services, so it’s far from a sure thing the Red Sox would get this done. The price shouldn’t be exorbitant, with FanGraphs’ crowdsourced contract of one year and $3 million likely being relatively close to the final deal. It seems like this deal, wherever it may be, could be closed soon, so we’ll keep our eyes and ears open.