According to a report this afternoon by Tampa Bay Times’ beat writer Marc Topkin, the Washington Nationals and Rays have worked out a trade for lefty reliever Enny Romero.
Topkin wrote on Twitter that the deal will be in exchange for an as-yet unnamed minor league starter from the Nationals’ organization.
Romero, 26, signed with the Rays out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. The hard-throwing left-hander debuted in the majors with one appearance in 2013.
Last season, he posted a 5.91 ERA, a 4.79 FIP, 28 walks (5.52 BB/9), 50 Ks (9.85 K/9) and a .239/.343/.395 line against in 45 2⁄3 innings pitched over which he held left-handed hitters to a .284/.385/.439 and right-handed hitters to a .211/.317/.368 line.
Romero features a 96-99 mph fastball, a cutter (89 mph AVG) and slider (84 mph AVG).
In his third season in the majors, the southpaw earned $510,000 in 2016, and as Topkin noted on Twitter, he was out of options and in danger of a Spring DFA, so a trade for the reliever makes sense:
Per source, #Rays are trading LHP Enny Romero to #Nationals for a lower-level starting pitching prospect— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 7, 2017
Romero was a disappointment with #Rays last season, and being out of options was in danger of spring DFA. But, he does have a big arm ...— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 7, 2017
Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes confirmed the reports of a deal being imminent and suggested it could be a lower-level prospect going to the Rays:
Nationals have a deal in place with Rays for lefty Enny Romero, according to a person familiar. @TBTimes_Rays mentioned this first.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 7, 2017
Hearing Nats are sending a Gulf Coast league pitcher to Tampa.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 7, 2017
More information on the rumored deal when it is available...
Did Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo, who acquired Felipe Rivero from the Rays in a 2014 deal, before trading the left-hander to the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, just find his new (slightly older) Rivero?
UPDATE: The Nationals just made the deal official:
#Nationals: #Nats have acquired LHP Enny Romero from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Minor League RHP Jeffrey Rosa.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) February 7, 2017
Jeffrey Rosa, 21, is also a Dominican-born pitcher, a right-hander who spent the 2016 campaign with the Gulf Coast League’s Nationals, putting up a 4.91 ERA, a 4.12 FIP, 20 walks (4.46 BB/9) and 34 Ks (7.59 K/9) in 11 starts and 40 1⁄3 innings.