J.C. Romero’s work as a late-inning reliever for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic convinced the Nationals to sign him to a minor-league contract.
Romero is 36 years old and allowed 13 runs in 12 innings for the Orioles and Cardinals last season. Overall since 2009 he’s thrown 90 total innings in the majors while allowing 161 baserunners, with 60 walks and 65 strikeouts.
Romero has bounced around an incredible amount during the past few years, pitching for four different teams in the majors and a handful of teams at Triple-A. In fact, in 2011 he signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals, pitched briefly at Triple-A, and was released.
Despite losing Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock to free agency, then trading Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks insist they’re not entering a rebuilding mode, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Most likely, this is just the D-Backs saving face publicly given how much contention there has been between ownership and the players’ union over teams aggressively not competing. The D-Backs aren’t expected to be in the running for any of the bigger-name free agents, so it’s going to be very tough to replace the production lost from Corbin, Pollock, Segura, and Goldschmidt. The smart money is still on expecting the D-Backs to continue trading away players like Robbie Ray and David Peralta. Greinke might stay, but only because of his contract, which still has three years and $95.5 million remaining.