Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Jordan Romano is among the league’s top closers after two fantastic seasons

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
6 months ago
The Blue Jays have one of the best relievers in the game.
And on Thursday, Jordan Romano was paid as such, as the 30-year-old right-handed pitcher and the Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $7.75 million deal to avoid arbitration.
The Canadian reliever was selected in the 10th-round of the 2014 draft and spent his first few professional seasons as a starter between 2016 and 2018. The Blue Jays left him exposed in the 2018-2019 Rule 5 draft, where he was selected by the Chicago White Sox and traded to the Texas Rangers. Before the start of the 2019 season, Romano was returned to his hometown team before transitioning to the bullpen. And well, the rest is history as he quickly became a dominant pitcher for the Blue Jays.
Romano’s 2023 season was a great one for the Markham Ontario-native, as he had a 2.90 ERA and a  3.46 FIP in 59 innings pitched, along with a 29 K% and a 9.7 BB%. On top of the impressive numbers, Romano finished with 36 saves for the second straight season, blowing just four opportunities. 
Compared to the rest of the league, Romano finished tied for fifth in saves as only Emmanuel Clase, David Bednar, Camilo Doval, and Alexis Díaz had more saves.
The 2023 season was actually not Romano’s best, as the 2022 season was statistically better in nearly every regard. The flame thrower had a 2.11 ERA and a 2.82 FIP in 64 innings pitched that season, with a 28.3 K% and an 8.1 BB%, the lowest in his career. As previously mentioned, Romano had 36 saves that season which ranked tied for fourth in the league, just behind Liam Hendriks, Kenley Jansen, and Emmanuel Clase once again.
Amongst the other league’s relievers, Romano’s $7.75 million deal ranks as the 18th highest annual value, with teammate Chad Green’s $10.5 million ranking 10th amongst relievers. Edwin Díaz (who missed all of 2023) leads the pack and makes $19.65 million, but that is likely to be surpassed whenever Josh Hader signs his deal this off-season.
Expect Romano to jump into the top 10 after the 2024 season, as he’s eligible for one more season of arbitration before becoming a free agent after the 2025 season. Realistically, the Blue Jays should be doing everything in their power to sign the hometown reliever, as he’s been absolute nails in the bullpen for the team the past four seasons.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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