Bring on spring training! San Francisco Giants, Sergio Romo agree to two-year deal

Giants reliever Sergio Romo is one of eight players who will be eligible for arbitration this offseason

Giants reliever Sergio Romo is one of eight players who will be eligible for arbitration this offseason

So there I was, working on a blog post about how the Giants needed to clean up one piece of off-season business and get Sergio Romo signed.

And then came news Wednesday that the reliever agreed to a two-year deal with the Giants. Terms were not disclosed.

Romo was the last of the Giants’ arbitration-eligible player to not agree to a 2013 contract. And we were about to guess at possible explanations for that.

One possible explanation was that Romo and the Giants were working on a long-term deal, and they were close. If they had been far apart, they would have just agreed on a one-year deal and attack a longer deal later on.

Generally a team would like to buy out some free agent years. But this would appear to be a good deal for the Giants. Romo was a second-year arbitration eligible player. A two-year deal buys out Romo’s last year of the arbitration process. He would be a free agent after the 2014 season.

But he’s not exactly a spring chicken. He will open the 2013 season at 30 years old (his birthday is March 4). So this deal will give the Giants time to access Romo’s durability, particularly in the closer role which he figures to fill in the 2013 season.

Romo asked for $4.5 million in arbitration this year. The Giants countered with $2.675 million. If we had to guess the dollar amount of this deal, we would guess at about $8 million or $9 million. Romo would need some motivation to give up his final year of arbitration, in which his salary could have jumped above $5 million.

Romo started 2012 as an eighth-inning set-up man, and continued into that role into July, when injuries and Romo’s success prompted manager Bruce Bochy to go to Romo in the closer role down the stretch and into the postseason.

Romo was 4-2 with 1.79 ERA in 55.1 innings last year. He’s had a K-rate at 10.0 and above each of the past four seasons, and a WHIP under 1.00 each of the past three seasons.

He recorded four saves in four opportunities in the postseason, including the final three games of the World Series. He allowed only one run in 10.2 innings in the postseason.

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