One of the most sought after free agents this winter is Darren O’Day of the Baltimore Orioles, who are trying to hold on to the reliever, but face competition from the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals.
O’Day, 32, is likely to receiver a four-year deal worth around $32 million and maybe even closer to $9 million a season. The Orioles have already made what’s being called a “competitive offer” to keep him but they’re also busy reaching out to other relief pitchers around the league, which means they’re keeping their options open, and maybe not too optimistic about holding on to him.
Both the Dodgers and the Nationals had problems late last season (playoffs or not) because of their bullpen, so adding a guy who has a 1.61 ERA over the last two seasons in 134 innings, making the All-Star game in 2015 and averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings last season would be hugely beneficial. The Braves might be in something of a rebuilding mode, but seem to be making exceptions about age and price for certain players on their shortlist.
One hint regarding the next teams O’Day plays for has to do with his living preferences: He’s from Florida, and except for one year with the Angels, has played his career away from the West Coast. He did play for the Rangers and also the Mets before signing with Baltimore, where he’s been since 2012. Unless the Dodgers have a huge advantage in their offer financially, he might prefer ending up playing elsewhere, with Atlanta and Washington looking like favorites to land him.