SF Giants add former Mariners pitching prospect on minors pact

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two
Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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The SF Giants bolstered organizational pitching depth recently. According to the team's transaction log, they have signed right-handed pitcher Tommy Romero to a minor league contract. Presumably, this will include a camp invite.

SF Giants add former Mariners pitching prospect on minors pact

Romero came up as a starter and even worked out of the rotation as recently as 2023. He appeared in 36 games, including 10 starts, for the Rochester Red Wings, which is the Washington Nationals' Triple-A affiliate.

There is a possibility that he still makes some starts in 2024, but the Giants have built up some quality pitching depth in the upper minors. This includes some of the higher-ranked prospects in the organization like Hayden Birdsong, Carson Whisenhunt, Mason Black, and Landen Roupp.

On the 40-man roster, the Giants also have several, optionable starters such as Sean Hjelle, Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, Tristan Beck, and Kai-Wei Teng. There is a good chance that Harrison, Winn, and Beck factor into the Opening Day rotation plans. There are a lot of options, but maybe not a lot of starts available for incoming pitchers. The prospects will get priority in this regard.

For Romero, he was originally a 15th-round pick by the Seattle Mariners out of Eastern State Florida University in 2017. Across six minor league seasons, he has recorded a 3.07 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and a 2.54 SO/W ratio. This includes a 5.44 ERA in 36 outings for Rochester in 2023.

The 26-year-old did pitch briefly for the Tampa Bay Rays and Nationals in 2022, posting a 10.80 ERA in a small sample of four appearances. He was previously on the 40-man roster for the Nationals but was cleared waivers last offseason and re-signed with the club.

On the mound, the righty pitcher does not overpower opposing hitters with velocity. He flashes a low-90's four-seam fastball with a slider and sinker. The fastball does get good vertical movement and the perceived velocity plays up thanks to above-average extension from his release point.

That said, Romero does allow opposing hitters to get a fair number of balls in the air, so he is a bit prone to the long ball. Nevertheless, it is a no-risk signing by the Giants to give them an experienced arm in the upper minors.