Sergio Romo is officially behind enemy lines.
The longtime San Francisco Giants reliever has reportedly signed a one-year deal to join the Dodgers for the 2017 season.
The Mexican-American right-hander with a wicked slider hails from Brawley, CA a city below San Diego near the border. He rose to prominence in the Major Leagues in 2008, and has spent the last nine seasons with the rival Giants.
Over that span, Romo rode his slider into the setup and closer roles for San Francisco as they won three World Series titles in five years. Romo was named setup man of the year in 2012, and was named an All-Star in 2013. The greatest moment in his career came on the mound in 2012 when he struck out American League MVP Miguel Cabrera in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 4 to win the World Series.
The 33-year-old has posted a 3.21 ERA over the past three seasons as he relinquished his closer role to Santiago Casilla in 2014.
After the announcement, which was first reported by MLB Network's Jon Morosi, many Dodger fans across the Southland issued their displeasure with the signing of a rival who now finds himself in hostile territory.
Imagining Sergio Romo in a Dodgers uniform makes me feel gross — Trevor Vernola (@tvern16) February 3, 2017
For those fans concerned with Romo's loyalty to the Bay, fear not. The right-hander grew up a Dodgers fan and his family famously wore Dodger blue to games at AT&T Park when Romo pitched.
"I followed them as a kid, but we became rivals in San Francisco," Romo told reporters in Culican, Mexico where he has been hanging out with Julio Urias and pitching for Team Mexico in the Caribbean Series. "Truthfully, it was something that came up when I was a kid. I've never put on a Dodgers uniform, not even in Little League. You never know if it will happen now, only God knows. We'll have to wait, but there are talks."
Also, Romo is not moving into the closer role which belongs to Kenley Jansen who signed a five-year, $80 million contract in the offseason.
If Romo can remain healthy (he missed 40 games last year with a strain in his flexor tendon), he is expected to serve as a specialist in late-inning matchups against right-handed hitters. Similar to Joe Blanton, Romo's slider is nearly unhittable against righties. In his career, right-handed hitters are batting .187 against Romo.
The Dodgers could still add another arm or two in their bullpen for pitchers and catchers are set to report on February 15th. Among the names to be on the lookout for are Blanton, and left-hander Craig Breslow.