The Blue Jays announced yesterday that left-hander Ricky Romero was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo. This is the second time this year that he has passed through waivers unclaimed.
Of course, that shouldn’t be a big surprise at this point, but it’s just the latest indication of how far Romero has fallen since he posted a 2.92 ERA during his age-26 season in 2011. The southpaw struggled miserably with his control in 2012 while putting up a 5.77 ERA in 32 starts and attempts to fix his mechanics this year were largely unsuccessful, as he had a 5.78 ERA and 81/63 K/BB ratio over 113 2/3 innings in Triple-A and allowed nine runs on 11 hits and eight walks over 7 1/3 innings with the big club.
Romero, who turns 29 next month, is still owed $7.5 million in each of the next two seasons while his $13.1 million option for 2016 carries a $600,000 buyout. He’s not occupying a spot on the 40-man roster, so the Blue Jays will have to hope he figures something out while toiling in the minor leagues.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.