One could argue that Sergio Romo would run second behind Blake Snell as this season’s most valuable Tampa Bay Rays player. Many players have stepped up, but where would the Rays be without him?
Prior to last night’s game, word circulated that the Tampa Bay Rays would not be moving Sergio Romo before the August 31 trade deadline. Speculation is that he may have been claimed on revocable waivers by another team and the Rays decided he was more important to them.
I’ll admit. Two months ago I wrote that the Rays needed a new closer. At that time, it appeared that Sergio Romo’s struggles from the past couple of years would continue in the closing role. Since then, he has gone on to save 18 games while posting an impressive 3.30 ERA. And, he appears to be having a lot of fun.
Clearly, Kevin Cash has learned that he can use Romo in many ways. Sergio was the original Opener. And look how that has turned out. He has relieved in about any situation and succeeded. Cash even went as far as sticking him at third base for a batter so he could continue to use him on the mound. Whatever the role, Romo seems to do with it with a smile and a competitive swagger.
Pulling Romo back a smart move by the Rays
Sergio Romo is a free agent at the end , of the season. And, the Rays are all but out of playoff contention, considering how the teams ahead of them are playing. Moving Romo before the end of August made sense. And, in the right deal, I think the Rays would have done it.
On the other hand, sticking with the 35 year old veteran says something about the Tampa Bay Rays and their “family” environment. Having fun is an obvious positive for any team, especially one as young as the Rays. The Rays players seem to have a very positive environment. Sergio Romo is very important to the clubhouse. Just look at a video posted by Rocco Baldelli recently on Twitter:
By the Rays sticking with Romo, they are demonstrating loyalty and how important veteran leadership is to them. And, I will not be surprised at all if the Rays reward that even further by signing Romo for at least one more season.