J.C. Romero, who passed through waivers unclaimed and was released by the Phillies last week, has signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals and will report to Triple-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Philadelphia is on the hook for Romero’s entire $1.35 million salary, so the signing is basically a no-risk move for Washington and at the very least Romero still looks capable of being a solid left-handed specialist.
To be anything more than that he’d have to dramatically improve his control or cease being horrendous against right-handed hitters, neither of which seem likely at age 35.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are close to signing reliever Joe Kelly. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for three years and around $25 million.
Kelly, 30, posted a 4.39 ERA with a 68/32 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen during the regular season in 2018. He turned it up a notch in the postseason, limiting the opposition to two runs (one earned) in 11 1/3 innings with a 13/0 K/BB ratio.
With the Red Sox, Kelly mostly pitched seventh and eighth innings ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel. He will likely do the same ahead of closer Kenley Jansen, sharing the workload with Pedro Báez.