Report: Yankees have deal with Darren O’Day, pending physical

Just a couple of days after shipping out Adam Ottavino, the Yankees have nabbed a replacement. I think everyone was anticipating a bullpen addition at some point soon, just not Darren O’Day. Rather, someone like Trevor Rosenthal or Shane Greene, who we briefly discussed on the latest podcast episode.

Earlier this offseason, Atlanta rejected its $3.5 million option to retain O’Day for 2021. Now, O’Day gets $2.5 million for one season from the Yanks. That’s a remarkably cheap deal for a guy with the fifth-lowest ERA since 2008, minimum 500 innings. Impressive as that stat is, he’s still limited in that he’s a righty specialist thanks to his sidewinding motion. That makes him slide right into the role that Ottavino vacated. Righties have a .193/.262/.287 line against O’Day all-time.

O’Day, 38 years of age, had some of his best years with Baltimore but just finished a strong campaign with Atlanta. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the righty had a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched plus a terrific 32.8 percent strikeout rate.

The Yankees have two 40-man spots open, but they will need to open up one more for O’Day since the DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber signings aren’t official yet.


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  1. O’Day is much better (and far more consistent) than Ottavino, nice move by the Yankees.

    His side arm style limits the chance of injury, I really like this.

  2. Mungo

    I thought maybe they’d look for an opportunity to add someone more to replace Kahnle for the role against lefties. Not a lefty-only reliever, but someone who was effective against lefties, be he a righty or a lefty. O’Day wasn’t what I figured, although he has been incredibly effective for a long time. Let’s hope he has at least one more year left in that arm.

  3. The Original Drew

    His splits suggests that he will do a much better job of getting right handed batters out than Ottavino did, but 38 year old pitchers are scary. Tom Tango’s projection at BBREF doesn’t seem to like him as much, but I overall think you can do a whole lot worse for $2.5 million.

    • The Original Drew

      Now go sign Joc Pederson!

      • Mungo

        That would be the surprise signing we’d all love, but I just don’t see how he’ll fit within the budget, unless he would take a deal for about $8M.

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