The Minnesota Twins on Saturday night traded for reliever Sergio Romo, whose playoff experience will deepen a bullpen in need of help as Minnesota tries to hold off the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN.
The 36-year-old Romo has spent the season as the Miami Marlins‘ closer, racking up 17 saves to go along with a 3.58 ERA in 37⅔ innings.
He won three championships with the San Francisco Giants, closing out the final game of the 2012 World Series in memorable fashion when he froze Miguel Cabrera on a down-the-middle fastball. In 23⅓ career playoff innings, Romo has a 3.09 ERA.
In addition to Romo, the Twins will receive right-handed starter Chris Vallimont, who is at High-A. Miami will receive Double-A first baseman Lewin Diaz, according to a source.
Romo provides a strong right-handed complement to left-hander Taylor Rogers, who has emerged as the Twins’ closer and one of the most valuable relievers in the league for first-year manager Rocco Baldelli.
The Twins have shuffled relievers in and out this week, designating veteran Blake Parker for assignment and calling up rookies Cody Stashak and Sean Poppen. The Twins, who at 63-40 held a two-game lead over the Indians entering Saturday’s games, have cobbled together a middle-of-the-pack bullpen but needed to upgrade it as Wednesday’s trade deadline approaches.
They are expected to pursue at least one more major league pitcher before the deadline.
The Marlins continue to explore selling some of their cadre of young starting pitching in hopes of improving their future as they barrel toward a 100-loss season. At 39-62 entering Saturday, the Marlins were six games behind the next-worst team in the National League, and in addition to dealing a starter, they could trade second baseman Starlin Castro.