Phillies near deal with JC Romero

Thursday, November 8, 2007 ·


According to Todd Zolecki of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies close to a deal with free agent reliever JC Romero.

The Phillies bolstered their rotation and bullpen yesterday when they acquired Brad Lidge from the Houston Astros for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Mike Costanzo.

The move makes Lidge the Phillies' closer next season. It also returns Brett Myers to the rotation.

But The Inquirer has learned that the Phillies also are close to a multi-year deal with left-handed relief pitcher J.C. Romero.

An announcement could come as early as today. If an agreement is reached and Romero returns to the Phillies' bullpen, the back end of the bullpen next season would include Lidge, Romero, Tom Gordon and Ryan Madson.

But the Phillies might not be finished improving their pitching yet. They still would like to find another starter, if possible. They need depth at that spot, especially because Adam Eaton is having shoulder issues. He recently had a MRI, but the Phillies don't feel surgery will be required.

Thus far, Pat Gillick is sticking to his word to improve pitching.

Also, the Daily News reports that the Phillies are looking at Japanese starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda.

It's logical to assume there will be vigorous bidding for Kuroda, who was 12-8 with a 3.56 earned run average for the Carp last season. He led Japan's Central League with a 1.85 earned run average in 2006 and has 74 complete games in 244 career starts.

He would be particularly attractive since, unlike Daisuke Matsuzaka, he would not require a posting fee; Boston paid the Seibu Lions $51 million just for the rights to negotiate with Dice-K last winter. Also, the team that signs him would not have to give up a compensatory draft choice.

Below is the only video I could find of him.

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