Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sergio Romo signs with Jalisco; Puig to Charros too?

Relief pitcher Sergio Romo, who was a member of the Mexican National Team during last week’s trip to Japan, has signed a contract with the Jalisco Charros for the final month of the regular season.  Romo will join the club for their second-half stretch drive in December.

The 33-year-old Romo has spent the last nine summers with the San Francisco Giants, where he compiled a career record of 32-26 with 84 saves and a sparkling ERA of 2.85.  He was a member of three World Series champions (2010, 2012, 2014) and was selected to pitch for the National League in the 2013 All-Star Game.  He pitched in his 500th MLB game in August.

A native of Brawley, California, Romo signed with the Giants as a 28th-round draft pick in 2005 out of the University of Northern Alabama after spending time at Arizona Western and Mesa State.  He made his big league debut on June 26, 2008 during an interleague game against Cleveland, where he tossed a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts.  The 5’11’ righty eventually became San Francisco’s closer, saving 38 games in 2013 and another 23 in 2014 before being supplanted by Santiago Casilla.  He’s been a middleman for the Giants since, although Romo will test the free agent waters this winter after completing a three-year, $20.5 million contract last season.

While Romo has spent five summers in the professional ranks, this will be his foray into the winter league.  Although he represented Mexico last week in Tokyo (both his parents were born in Mexico), Romo joins the Charros roster as an extranero after a contingent from the Guadalajara team traveled to Tokyo to conduct negotiations.  He’s expected to join skipper Homar Rojas’ team next month.

Jalisco is reportedly also interested in signing Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, The 25-year-old Puig was an instant sensation with Los Angeles in 2013, batting .319 with 19 homers in 104 games, but has steadily fallen out of favor with management for his sometimes lackadaisical play, particularly on defense.  A number of Cubans have been making their mark in the MexPac this winter (especially in Culiacan), but Puig would be the most notable of them if he signs.