The Los Angeles Angels announced they signed pitcher Fernando Romero to a Minor League contract for the 2023 season.
Just a few days shy of his 28th birthday, Romero joins an Angels club with a number of players added on Minor League deals this offseason. General manager Perry Minasian has wasted no time in his efforts to add veteran depth to his Major League roster and MLB-experienced guys who could fill holes with the big club.
With 69.2 innings spread across two seasons in MLB, Romero most recently recorded an appearance for the Minnesota Twins in 2019. However, a career 5.17 ERA in 26 games (11 starts), with a .287 batting average allowed, prompted a move overseas.
Romero signed on with the Yokohama Bay Stars in the NPB prior to their 2021 season. He posted a 5-5-3 record with a 3.01 ERA over 80.2 innings pitched. Most recently in 2022, he carried a 4.87 ERA in 92.1 innings prior to joining the Angels.
The most recent Baseball Savant data from 2019 has him profiled as a high-velocity arm with trouble controlling his sinker-heavy arsenal. The Angels are taking a flier on Romero, hoping his repertoire of elite stuff can be honed in, which would be valuable given his ability to start games and appear in relief.
His best-charted pitch is the slider, registering a 64.7% whiff in 2019, with a wOBA of .193, the makings of an elite strikeout pitch. His downfall at the Major League level came in the form of walks. His 15.3% walk rate was nearly 7% higher than the MLB average.
He will likely spend the season with Triple-A Salt Lake serving as organizational depth, but it would not be surprising to see him earn a promotion to the Major League level at some point.
Angels sign Jhonathan Díaz & César Valdez to Minor League deals
The Angels brought back a familiar face by re-signing left-handed pitcher Jhonathan Díaz to a Minor League deal earlier this month, following up the signing of veteran righty César Valdez to the same level contract.
Díaz posted a 4.01 ERA in 2021 between the Angels’ Double-A and Triple-A levels and finally settled in with the Salt Lake Bees for the entirety of this past season.
Valdez, 37, has 69 MLB games under his belt with his first stop in coming with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. But with stops in the Mexican League and the Chinese Professional Baseball League, he most recently appeared with the Angels this past season, spending the majority of his time with their Triple-A club.
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