It looks like one of the most sought-after reliever on free agency is staying put. According to industry sources, Darren O'Day will remain with the Baltimore Orioles via a new four-year contract. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the deal is worth $31 million.
The 33-year-old was previously expected to agree to a deal with the Washington Nationals, but the Orioles came around with a fourth-year offer. The Nationals are said to be in dire need of bullpen reinforcements and has a $174 million payroll that was $56 million higher than Baltimore's last season. They were considered to be the favorite to sign O'Day but according to reports, they were not willing to give him a four-year deal.
The right-handed pitcher has not been a closer, with only 14 career saves. However, he has been one of the most effective setup men in the league for the past four year. O'Day went 6-2 with six saves and delivered a 1.52 ERA in 2015. He was also voted to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
This rumored return to the Orioles would also be a sensible move for the pitcher as his wife, Elizabeth Prann, is a Fox News reporter based in D.C.
Some O's fans may already be celebrating but O'Day himself recently said something that may spoil their excitement. A tweet he posted late Sunday reads, "Contrary to the news, I have not reached an agreement with the O's yet. I am flattered by all the attention, but reports are premature."
The Orioles front office is also busy with further improving the team's roster. After acquiring first baseman Mark Trumbo from the Seattle Mariners last week, Baltimore still have plenty to do this offseason and analysts say that it may include an attempt to retain Chris Davis, another first baseman who is currently a free agent.
Dan Duquette, the team's Executive Vice President, made remarks about a possible Chris Davis return. In a piece that appeared on Roch Kubatko's MASN blog, Duquette said, "Everybody knows we're trying to sign Chris Davis."
The Orioles official has traditionally built the club with a more methodical approach that focused on year-round additions. He said on Friday that Baltimore will be active this week in adding to its upcoming season's roster. The problem, however, may lie on Scott Boras, Davis' agent. The Baltimore Sun noted that Boras is not known to rush negotiations. The agent reportedly allow the market develop first and deals for some of his client may take longer to finalize.