Sergio Francisco Romo
Height: 5'11" Weight: 185 lbs.
Bats/Throws: Right / Right
Born: 03/04/1983 in Brawley, California
College: University of North Alabama; Colorado Mesa State University
Family: Sons Rylen, Rex, and Rhys
MLB Debut: 06/26/2008
Acquired: Signed as a free agent (03/24/2022)
Free Agent after: 2022 season
Awards: NL All-Star (2013)
Twitter handle: @SergioRomo54
Now 39 years old, Romo is joining his seventh Major League team. A mainstay for the San Francisco Giants in his younger days, Romo was an All-Star in 2013 as SF's closer and ended up saving 84 games for them in nine years. He left the City by the Bay for the Southland, signing a free-agent contract with the rival Dodgers in 2017, but it turned out the man from just north of the Mexican border did not bleed Dodger blue; he posted the worst numbers of his career in LA (6.12 ERA, 1.400 WHIP) and got himself traded to Tampa Bay, where he was much better. He stuck with the Rays for another year, then accepted an offer from the cross-state Miami Marlins only to be traded to Minnesota the next July. From Minneapolis back to the Bay Area with the Oakland A's, and now here in the Pacific Northwest. As a setup man with the A's, Romo saw a lot of the Mariners in 2021. "We just couldn't beat them," he said. "What's the saying, 'if you can't beat them, join them'?" Romo welcomed the chance to come to Seattle and knows he's nearing the end of the line for his big-league career; he wants to make these last years count. "I know there’s been a drought here with the Mariners,” he said. “I’d like to change that. It’s exciting to be a part of it now. I want to win.” For his part, manager Scott Servais likes the fact that Romo has been on championship teams (2010, 2012, and 2013 with the Giants) and wants that perspective to be part of Seattle's clubhouse chemistry. Said Servais, “[Romo]’s certainly earned everything that he’s achieved in this game. He’s got a lot to add, and I think he can still get people out, too. I’m anxious to get him out on the mound.”
As a child, Romo remembers watching a baseball game on TV with his father and declaring he was going to pitch in the Majors. "I told [my dad], ‘You see that guy pitching, I’m gonna be that guy one day.’ It’s crazy to think I could say something like that to him. Something I had no control over. But I’m still here." Born to Mexican immigrants working the fields in California's Imperial Valley, Romo has a tattoo on his back that melds the American and Mexican flags, symbolizing, in his words, "an American made with Mexican parts." He owns a T-Shirt that reads "I only look illegal," which he wore to a Giants championship parade. He has no qualms about expressing who he is. Fellow reliever Drew Steckenrider, who was also Romo's teammate in Miami, related the advice the elder pitcher gave him in the Miami clubhouse. "He told me 'just be yourself and the guys around you will gravitate to that'," Steckenrider recalled. "Everybody respects him and what he has to say."
Though he was never a power pitcher, Romo's lost a bit of zip on his fastball, so he's compensated by turning himself into a clever soft-tosser, mostly using sliders and what he terms a sinker rather than a standard fastball. He relies on movement and varying his arm angles and release point, throwing mostly at a three-quarters angle but switching to over the top or dropping down to sidearm from time to time.