Blue Jays Release Ricky Romero
After four consecutive disappointing seasons from the Toronto Blue Jays former ace, the Jays management finally decided to part ways with Ricky Romero, releasing him from team control this afternoon. Romero was pitching in Triple-A Buffalo with the Bisons where he had been for parts of the last two seasons.
Jays fans will always be left asking themselves what happened to their 2011 ace who had a career year with a 2.92 ERA before plummeting from the sky the following season with a 5.77 ERA and 5.22 BB/9.
From 2009, when he broke onto the Jays, Romero was a great story. Jays fans had someone to get excited about again after former ace Roy Halladay was traded to the Phillies for young talent. In his rookie season he contributed 178 innings with a 4.30 ERA and 2.3 WAR. He maintained good control with 3.99 BB/9. His following season he improved utilizing a wipeout changeup, decreasing his ERA to 3.73 and increasing his K/9 rate from 7.13 to 7.46.
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He furthered his career in 2011 with a 2.92 ERA in 225 innings but for some unquantifiable reason, he couldn’t do it the following season. He was given a long leash where he was able to perform awfully in 181 innings with a 5.77 ERA. In 2013, the Jays started him in High-A Dunedin to try and get back some of his long-lost control and confidence. It worked in his one start in Dunedin but never really transferred over when he was promoted to Buffalo and subsequently Toronto for a September call-up.
He was even transitioned into a reliever’s role to try and figure things out. It didn’t matter. In 37.2 IP in Buffalo last season, Romero performed to a 5.50 ERA with an astronomical 9.82 BB/9.
Not helping his case was that he was being paid over $7 million a season ending in 2015. It was long hypothesized the Jays would let him go at the end of the season but they instead elected to let him walk today because GM Alex Anthopoulos said he thought he could not be of service to the Jays before his contract expired this season.
Romero has seen it all in his career as a Blue Jay. He’s gone from being an unhittable ace and an all-star to being unclaimed on waivers, overpaid in the minors and today part of the unemployed line in America. Whether someone takes a chance on him remains to be seen. At 30 years old and not a huge amount of innings on his arm, it’s conceivable we haven’t seen the last of Romero in Major League Baseball. But one thing is for certain, we’ve seen the last of Romero in a Jays uniform.
Good luck and farewell.