There have been rumblings that the San Francisco Giants are on the market for a starting pitcher, but an impending signing isn’t quite what fans were expecting. According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, former All-Star starter turned MLB washout Ricky Romero is very close to joining the Giants organization:
The signing was made official on Monday, with Romero tweeting out some good vibes:
After putting up impressive numbers in his first two seasons with the Blue Jays, Romero was a bonafide ace in 2011, ending the year with 15 wins, a 2.92 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 225 innings. The former first-round pick was also named to the AL All-Star team and finished in the top-ten in voting for the AL Cy Young award.
But Romero’s MLB success was short-lived. Control issues that had followed him his entire career peaked in 2012 as he led the league with 105 walks and finished the season with a cringeworthy 5.77 ERA. It didn’t take long for the Jays to send him down in 2013, and after two subpar seasons in the minors (plus-5.00 ERA in both), Romero was released outright on April 25.
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Of course, the Giants aren’t expecting him to suddenly regain his dominant form, but Romero does represent a possible reclamation project. The best case would obviously be something along the lines of the Ryan Vogelsong rebirth, but at this point, getting him to succeed at any level as a starter or reliever would be a great first step.
In case anyone has forgotten 2010, San Francisco is famous for taking “misfits” and making them into something more, and Romero is still just 30 years old. The Giants (read: Scouting Director Dick Tidrow) wouldn’t have plucked him out of nowhere unless he was fixable.
This is pure speculation on my part, but a Double-A assignment would make sense for Romero, and a certain former Giant lefty would be a great fit for helping him right the ship.
No matter where he ends up, there’s clearly a long road to redemption for the southpaw signee. Though he won’t be helping the big-league ball club anytime soon, fans can take solace in the fact that the Giants are no longer in desperate need of a fifth starter now that Ryan Vogelsong has settled into a groove.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still looking.