|Photo by the Associated Press|
Romero signed a minor league deal with Washington in late March after impressing at the World Baseball Classic and joined the club in spring training. He had previously been a part of the organization in 2011 for about two weeks before leaving to sign with the Yankees.
In 13 appearances with Syracuse this season, Romero posted a 2.84 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. After holding a 0.82 ERA in April through his first ten outings, Romero was sidelined for most of May with shoulder stiffness. Before his June 1 opt-out date came around, he had not pitched since May 8.
If it weren’t for the injury Romero may have been given a shot with the big league club in late May. Reliever Ryan Mattheus was sent to the disabled list with a broken pitching hand and the Nats needed help in their bullpen. With Romero out, the Nats called up lefty Fernando Abad. Since his promotion, Abad has established himself with zero earned runs and just one walk in six appearances this season.
With Abad performing well, at least so far, the Nats will likely see if he can continue as a reliable option. This leaves Romero out of the mix and probably contributed to his decision to opt out.
The Nats have also called up two other relief pitchers from Syracuse this season in Erik Davis and Xavier Cedeno.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com first reported the news and said Romero is close to a deal with the Cleveland Indians.