According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, free-agent setup man Darren O’Day will re-sign with the Baltimore Orioles.
Darren O’Day is likely heading back to Baltmore, sources say. Final decision came down to O’s, Nats.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 6, 2015
As expected, the final decision came down to the Orioles, the team O’Day has spent the last four seasons with, and the Washington Nationals. O’Day was also pursued by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and a host of other teams. The Orioles and Nationals emerged as the favorites to land O’Day because his wife, Elizabeth Prann, works as a news correspondent for Fox News in Washington.
Over the past four seasons, the submariner, who was abandoned by the Texas Rangers following the 2011 season, has pitched to a 1.92 ERA over 263.0 innings. O’Day has a 23-8 win-loss record while pitching for the Orioles and is coming off the best season of his career. O’Day was an All-Star for the first time in 2015, finished the year with a 1.52 ERA, and struck out a career-high 11.3 per nine.
O’Day just turned 33, and should have plenty of innings left in his right arm thanks to his unconventional delivery. With O’Day returning, the Orioles will once again have one of the best bullpens in the American League. The decision to aggressively pursue a reunion with O’Day could signal the end of the Orioles’ pursuit of a mid-tier starting pitcher. With the salary for a mid-tier name like Yovani Gallardo or Scott Kazmir likely to approach $20 million, keeping the eighth inning combination of O’Day and fellow All-Star Zach Britton intact could have become more attractive to the Orioles.
O’Day’s deal has been reported as a four-year contract worth $31 million, slightly less than his original asking price. This move can only be viewed as a positive start to an offseason filled with a great deal of uncertainty for the Baltimore Orioles