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Nats sign Romero to minor-league deal

Mar 22, 2013, 3:16 PM EDT

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J.C. Romero posted a 3.86 ERA for Puerto Rico in the WBC.

VIERA, Fla. — Ever in search of a left-handed specialist who could help them at some point this season, the Nationals have signed veteran reliever J.C. Romero to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league camp.

Romero will be in uniform tomorrow and pitch against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, but general manager Mike Rizzo made it clear the 36-year-old won’t make the Opening Day roster.

“I don’t feel that’s realistic,” Rizzo said. “It’s been conveyed to him that we don’t feel it’s realistic. He’ll go to the minor leagues and perform down there, and if he can help us down the road, we’ll go grab him.”

Rizzo likened Romero’s signing to last year’s acquisition of Michael Gonzalez, who spent a month at Class AAA Syracuse and then became a key member of the Nationals’ bullpen straight through the postseason.
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  1. NatsJim - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I think this is great insurance given his performance in the WBC… given that it's a minor league deal just makes it that much better.

  2. SCNatsFan - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Gonzo version 2.0 I hope

  3. Tcostant - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Smart move – he looked great in the WBC games I saw.

  4. Section 222 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Gonzo version 2.0 would be great. I wonder what it was that allowed Gonzo to have such a good year with us in 2012, compared to his previous two mediocre years. Take a look at these numbers: In 2009, he played for ATL, appeared in 80 games, and had a 2.42 ERA.2010/BAL/29/4.012011/BAL, TEX/56/4.392012/WSN/47/3.03J.C. Romero2009/PHI/21/2.702010/PHI/60/3.682011/PHI, COL/36/4.012012/STL, BAL/16/9.00For Gonzo, was it simply coming to the NL from the AL, or do Davey and McCatty have some magic potion? If it's the former, Romero doesn't get that advantage, but if it's the latter, maybe they can resurrect his career too.

  5. Rabbit34 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Since we have a shaky bullpen, we'll take all the help we can get! Now, let's get those bats going today. Let's build some momentum for the season.

  6. sjm308 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    222 – I am not a stats guy for sure but I think you used one of the worst possible stats for a reliever. If they have one poor outing and give up 3 or 4 runs in an inning or less, it can take them the entire season to get their era back to something decent. I am sure there are other numbers out there to prove your point but I tend to not even look at a relievers era unless its something outstanding like .000!!I also want to respond to a poster from about 3 articles back saying the Braves are loaded. Yes, they have a nice club but I quickly looked at them position by position vs our lads3rd Base – NationalsSS – Nationals2nd Base – NationalsFirst Base – Braves (this was the first close one)Left Field – NationalsCenter Field – BravesRight Field – Brave (If Heyward bounces back)Catcher – Nationals right now with McCann outStarting Pitching – NationalsBullpen – BravesBench – NationalsManager – NationalsRadio Announcers – NationalsBlog posters – Nationalsok, ok, will stop now.

  7. Section 222 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    sjm, I agree that ERA isn't as good a stat for relievers as it is for starters, but when you're talking about 30-50 appearances, it's not so bad. But here's their respective WHIP. Maybe Gonzo didn't make as big a leap as we think, but he still improved. And Romero would have to become a completely different guy to be as good.If someone thinks there's another stat to use for this kind of comparison, I'm all ears.Gonzo2009 — 1.1972010 — 1.2972011 — 1.3502012 — 1.318Romero2009 — 1.5602010 — 1.6092011 — 1.7032012 — 2.000

  8. Kirbs - Mar 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    SJM, I will disagree with you on center field. I will take the 380ish OB% of Spann Vs. the 220ish BA with 25 or so HR of BJ upton.

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