PEORIA, Ariz. — After losing Casey Sadler to season-ending shoulder surgery Sunday, the Mariners are adding a possible replacement to fill his setup role.
MLB sources confirmed that the team has agreed with veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo on a one-year, $2 million contract pending a physical.
Romo is expected to take his physical in the next 24 hours, with an announcement likely coming Thursday.
Romo, who turned 39 on March 4, pitched in 66 games for the Oakland A’s in 2021, posting a 1-1 record with three saves and a 4.67 ERA. In 61 2/3 innings, Romo struck out 60 with 21 walks and nine homers allowed.
Per Statcast data, Romo had one of the lowest hard-hit percentages among MLB relievers at 23.3%. Hitters posted a .219 batting average against him and .223 expected batting average, which measures balls in play and their likelihood of being a hit based on exit velocity and launch-angle data.
He relies on a sweeping slider more than half the time, mixing in a two-seam fastball and a change-up.
He certainly has the experience to handle Sadler’s role.
Romo has made 798 MLB appearances in 14 seasons, posting a career 3.22 ERA and 27.3 strikeout percentage. He has pitched in 30 postseason games and was part of three World Series-winning teams with San Francisco.
“We used Casey in that kind of that pivot role, often times coming in right after the starter to keep the game right there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Monday. “I’ve often said you lose probably more games in the fifth and sixth inning in our league than you lose in the eighth or ninth inning.
“It’s just a critical spot and oftentimes high-leverage spot, and you’re coming in with runners on base. It’s a big role. And it’s not just one guy; you’d like to have two guys, so you don’t run one guy into the ground.”