Monday, July 29, 2019

The Sergio Romo trade

The Twins on Saturday picked up veteran reliever Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in an odd prospect trade.

The Twins not only got Romo, the one established major leaguer in the deal, but a decent pitching prospect in Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later..

The cost was Lewin Diaz, a left-left first baseman who is having a big 2019 season after a poor 2018. Miami must have really wanted Diaz, who has split this season between high A Fort Myers and Double A Pensacola,  to include two throw-ins.

Perhaps this trade will be known down the road as the Lewin Diaz trade, but the reality is that Diaz is Rule 5 eligible and the Twins were likely to have trouble finding a spot on the 40-man roster for him in the offseason. Yes, incumbent first baseman C.J. Cron is a free-agent-to-be, but the Twins have plenty of first base options who rank ahead of Diaz.

As I said in the Monday print column, Romo, 36, doesn't truly check my boxes for the Twins bullpen priorities. He's not left-handed, and he's not a power arm who can trade off long saves with Taylor Rogers.

But he helps. His high-grade slider makes him particularly tough on right-handed hitters, he has a track record of performing in a variety of relief roles, and he's not likely to be scared by pitching under pressure. The man picked up three saves in the 2012 World Series, after all.

The Twins DFA'd Carlos Torres, who never got into a game for the Twins, to make room for Romo.

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