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MLB Roundup 2/13: Sergio Romo signs with the Marlins

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sergio Romo signs with Miami

One of my favorite free agent relievers from this winter has come off the board, and the Red Sox didn’t make the move. Sergio Romo, the longtime Giants late-inning arm who spent the 2018 season with the Rays, signed a one-year deal worth just $2.5 million with the Marlins on Tuesday. To start with the Marlins, this is really the kind of move a rebuilding team like Miami should be making, and one we don’t see enough of from these kind of organizations. Romo, first and foremost, gives them a body to put in their bullpen to prevent them from having to call up a minor-league arm more quickly. He’s also likely going to be used as trade bait in the summer, assuming both he pitches well and the Marlins aren’t contenders. I’m fairly confident in both of those things. Romo’s also a great leader for that young clubhouse. If you’ll recall, he was the player who most helped other pitchers buy into the “opener” role last year with the Rays.

For all of those reasons — well, not really the trade bait one — I thought the Red Sox should have been in on him. In fact, for this price I really hope they at least made an offer. We don’t know exactly how these things go and we don’t know what Romo is looking for. Perhaps he would have needed a major upgrade in salary to play in Boston rather than Miami. Couldn’t blame someone for that. Perhaps he wanted to get back to the National League. We have no idea. If we was willing to sign in Boston, though, the Red Sox missed a chance. The leadership qualities are great, and on top of that he has been at least 30 percent better than league-average by DRA in nine of his eleven big-league seasons with his worst mark being 23 percent better than league-average. Romo is remarkably consistent, and while there’s some risk as he enters his age-36 season, it’s not enough to stop from handing out the low salary he commanded. Missed opportunity for Boston here.