Will the Marlins and free-agent reliever Sergio Romo reunite this offseason? It appears both sides are interested in working out a deal for his return?
The ball club is open to the idea of re-signing Romo after he was traded prior to the MLB deadline along with minor league pitcher Chris Vallimont, for minor league first baseman Lewin Diaz. If Romo does return to the Marlins, it means the team has solved one of its offseason issues of finding consistency at the back end of the bullpen.
Romo signed a one-year deal with the team prior to Spring Training and won the closer role out of camp. This spring, there is expected to be a battle within the organization of arms looking to fill that role.
In 38 games with Miami, he had a 3.58 ERA and 17 saves before he was sent to the Twins,
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The Marlins did make out well in the deal as Diaz gives the franchise the best first base prospect it has had in years.
"According to MLB.com, “Diaz, Miami’s No. 12 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has a chance to reach the big leagues in 2020 and become Miami’s regular first baseman. In 2019, playing for three Minor League teams, the left-handed-hitting first baseman combined to hit .270/.321/.530 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs.”"
Romo is appealing to the team because he is a low-risk, high-reward type of player who could come with a fairly cheap price tag. Last season he made just $2.5 million with the team. It is expected he could be seeking a similar deal this offseason.
Should the Marlins fail to reacquire him, there are options on the Major League level to choose from. Jarlin Garcia, Drew Steckenrider and Ryne Stanek could all be in competition to fill the role slot. Also, Jose Urena is still on the roster with no true place for him on the staff.
"“We’re exploring the entire market of eligible guys,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “I know [Romo] has been connected to us, as well he should be. He was very public in saying that he enjoyed his time with us. We’ll see where things go. But he was a player who did very well for us and did a good job in his time with us.”"
The Marlins front office made it a priority to add bats this offseason and have begun to add to their MLB roster. The team’s bullpen remains a mystery as there is a need for depth. A veteran arm or two could still be added.
Finding players at positions of need is crucial to the growth of the franchise this season, but there are some people who believe the Marlins may not be able to afford high-priced free agents because of their need to remain budget-friendly for another season.
"“There’s so much time left in the offseason, so things change,” Hill said. “That’s why you continue to stay in touch with representatives and players, just so you can monitor where things are going. There may be players you think are out of your reach, [but] for whatever reason, their objectives change, and they may come back into focus.”"