Nats Trade for Hard-Throwing Reliever

Out-of-options southpaw sometimes gets it over the plate, too

If you’re left-handed, you get more chances. If you throw hard, you get more chances. And if you’re both, well, someone might trade for you, as the Nats did yesterday when they dealt RHP Jeffrey De La Rosa to Tampa Bay for LHP Enny Romero.

Truth be told, the Nats got Romero for a song: De La Rosa has been old for the level at both stops in the DSL and GCL the past two seasons and was—at best—ticketed for a stop in the NYPL this season.

The Nats will try to leverage Romero’s 96.7mph average fastball while lowering his walk rate, which is daunting because the 26-y.o. has averaged 5.0 BB/9 in 80⅓ MLB innings and 4.4 in 698⅓ MiLB innings. He’s also given up nearly a hit per inning for his career (713 in 810⅔IP).

If it works out, the Nats will have perhaps as many as three lefties for manager Dusty Baker to abuse out of the ‘pen. If it doesn’t, Romero could be the next Henry Rodriguez.

The gamble does also come at the cost of a 40-man slot and GM Mike Rizzo’s ego. The former will make it less likely for anyone not already on the 40-man roster to make the Opening Day roster. The latter will make it more likely that Romero will be held onto for far, far longer than he deserves (see two sentences ago).

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

11 thoughts on “Nats Trade for Hard-Throwing Reliever”

  1. An arm we can dream on, even if we are likely to wake up abruptly to a less pleasant reality. It’s what Spring Training is all about.

  2. This trade takes me back to the expos picking up an after thought
    Lefty from Dodgers who ended up
    My senility enhanced with major head cold doesn’t help remembering
    This farm year should be fun in seeing which drafted / signed kids
    Begin the push to push out the free agents filling innings at upper levels ( Ross, Long, Blackmar, Mayberry PA, )
    Meaningless info. Earle Hagen composed music for the andy Griffith show and the mod squad!)

    1. Can’t quite think of the one you mean, Jeff – but there were certainly a few good pitcher that the Expos picked up as reclaimation projects, who turned out pretty good…..

      Dennis Martinez? (still my fave)
      Bryn Smith?
      Tim Burke?
      Joe Hesketh (although actually – wasn’t he an expos draft)?

      1. All under Buck a Rodgers
        Joe Heskith was draft choice
        And buck project until he slid
        Into Mike Scioscia one year
        Joe’s son drsfted by Mariners??

        Getting excited about the 9-10 arms who will pitch A/B innings
        Each day of the week for Sam Narron
        Believers still in Benincasa??

    2. We already have sammy o.perez.
      So why we traded this guy?
      We need Closer. U knoew saying
      I do not know Mike what did in this stove.
      Far from MM, Jansen, Sale, Chap(didnt offer).
      And then we got old pitcher

      Finally we do not have powerful roster and low prospects rank.

    1. No
      A Latin reliever in a minor league
      Dodger deal
      Baseball reference time

      Howard and Braymer make hagerstown then club has more on roster

  3. The Nats have brought in three high-velo relievers this offseason in Romero, Cordero, and Adams. Yes, the first two took 40-man slots, but since they didn’t cost much to get, it will be no great issue if they don’t pan out and disappear with a DFA. Does Syracuse have an actual Chief mascot? He may be in trouble if he’s got Nuke LaLoosh x 3 in the ‘pen there!

    Since the Nats had a couple of 40-man slots open, why not give it a shot? These guys are all lottery tickets, but many successful relievers often start out that way.

  4. Luke, could you remind some of
    The roster limits out of spring
    Camp for A ball affiliates and AA?
    Exactly 25?
    Sure would be nice if Hagerstown
    Could provide cups of coffee before june for kids like Franco and Mota.
    Right ??

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