Dodgers Sign Stefen Romero To Minor League Contract

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The Dodgers have signed first baseman/outfielder Stefen Romero to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Romero was an intriguing prospect for the Mariners but wasn’t able to translate his minor league success to the majors. He saw action with Seattle over three seasons, from 2014 to 2016, getting 233 plate appearances in 94 games. Over that stretch, he hit .195/.242/.307.

Following the 2016 season, the Mariners released Romero to sign with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Romero took full advantage of that opportunity in Japan, slugging 96 home runs over the past five seasons, with an overall line of .264/.331/.497.

Now 33, Romero has seen his playing time in the field diminish in recent years, often slotting in as a designated hitter. The last time he played more than 50 games in the field in a given season was 2018, when he spent 66 of his 119 games on the outfield grass for the Buffaloes. It would be difficult for Romero to crack a Dodgers outfield that currently consists of Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock. Max Muncy is lined up at first base, but that was also the case in 2021 when Albert Pujols got into 85 Dodger games as a platoon/bench bat. Both Pujols and Romero are right-handed, making it possible that Romero could be tasked with filling a similar role in 2022 as Pujols did last year. It’s widely expected that the National League will implement the DH as part of the next CBA, which would increase Romero’s chances of getting a shot at joining the Dodgers.

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