Jerome Williams (or more accurately, mostly his agent) spent the past week talking about how he hoped to be non-tendered by the Angels because he believed other teams would be willing to give him a full-time rotation spot. And he got his wish last night, as they cut him loose rather than keeping the 32-year-old right-hander around for approximately $4 million via arbitration.
Here’s what agent Larry O’Brien told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times after the move:
Honestly, this could be a blessing in disguise. I believe there are a number of teams that will give him the chance to make 32 starts. Jerome is a horse. He can throw 250 innings. I think he’s going to turn some heads. We’ll find a team that’s going to give Jerome the ball every five days.
Worth noting: Williams has never, in his entire big-league career, started more than 25 games or thrown more than 170 innings in a season.
O’Brien was extremely outspoken in the days leading up to the Angels’ decision, basically saying Williams deserved better than they were going to give him. Of course, he also told various reporters that he’d be shocked if they non-tendered Williams and that’s exactly what they ended up doing. So … mission accomplished. Now we’ll see if he was right about Williams’ potential free agent market.
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.