Report: Dodgers likely to sign Sergio Romo

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The Dodgers appear to be closing in on a deal with free agent right-handed reliever Sergio Romo, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. While initial reports had Romo inking a deal with the team on Friday, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says that a contract agreement isn’t in place just yet, as a mystery team is still trying to up their bid for the reliever.

Romo, 33, is coming off of a nine-year career with the Giants. He turned out decent numbers in 2016, putting up a 2.64 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 9.7 SO/9, but pitched just 30 2/3 innings after landing on the 60-day disabled list with a forearm injury in April.

While Romo frequently occupied the closer’s spot during his near-decade in San Francisco, he is expected to revert to a setup role for closer Kenley Jansen should he take a deal in Los Angeles. As for the mystery team, Heyman thinks it could be the Nationals, though the Jays, Mets and Rays also received honorable mention. With the flurry of bullpen signings the Mets completed on Friday, however, it seems unlikely that they’d still be in play for the veteran right-hander.

Whatever the case may be, it seems unlikely that a decision will be announced until Romo completes his run in the Caribbean Series. Per Heyman:

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.