Sergio Romo hit the open market as a free agent this offseason and at age 32 it may have been his final chance at a big payday, but after spending his entire career with the Giants he had no interest in playing anywhere but San Francisco.
Romo told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com that the Giants took their sweet time making him an offer, so he simply waited things out despite several other teams offering him sizable deals and even the chance to be a closer.
I just didn’t want to go anywhere, guys. I really didn’t. During that dead time, it’s hard to wait. It’s like, we can get this done in five minutes, for real. Call me up.
When they eventually did call in late December he quickly agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal to remain with the Giants, for whom he’s pitched seven seasons with a 2.51 ERA and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings as one of the elite relievers in baseball. Romo saved 75 games from 2012-2014, including 23 last season, but he’ll remain in a setup role in front of closer Santiago Casilla.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.