Sunday, November 11, 2007

Phils lock up Romero

Lefthander J.C. Romero signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension with the Phillies, Assistant General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced Saturday. The Phillies hold a club option for a fourth year that could bring the total value of the contract to $16.75 million.

Romero, 30, went 2-2 with one save and a 1.92 ERA in 74 combined games between the Phillies and Red Sox this past season. He began the season with Boston and had a 3.15 ERA in 23 games before being released on June 18. Romero signed a minor league contract with Philadelphia on June 23 and made his Phillies/National League debut six days later against the Mets.

“J.C. had an outstanding three months for us this year, particularly down the stretch,” said Amaro. “He was an integral part of our winning the NL East and we’re very happy we could get him signed before he hit the open market.”

In 51 games with the Phillies, Romero posted a 1.24 ERA and held opponents to a .130 batting average. With the Phillies, lefthanders were just 5-for-40 (.125) against him, including 1-for-18 (.056) to finish the season. Romero did not allow a home run to a left-handed hitter all season (77 AB), extending his streak to 153 at-bats against left-handed hitters without allowing a home run.

”I’m glad I didn’t have to go out and test the free agent market,” said Romero. “I had a great time with the Phillies and really wanted to come back. I’m excited and looking forward to next season and hopefully we come out and defend our NL East title the way I know we can. The nucleus has remained the same and we added the right pieces. We need to go out and do what everyone expects us to do, which is win a World Series.”

Romero’s final 20 appearances of the regular season were scoreless (15.2 IP) and he appeared in three playoff games, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

A native of Puerto Rico, Romero was originally selected by Minnesota in the 21st round of the 1997 draft. In parts of nine major league seasons, he is 28-24 with three saves and a 4.30 ERA for the Twins (1999-2005), Angels (2006), Red Sox (2007) and Phillies (2007).

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