With the offseason departures of Adam Ottavino, Jonathan Holder, and Tommy Kahnle, the Yankees needed to make some move to aid the bullpen so that the entire burden of heavy responsibility didn’t fall on the triumvirate of Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, and Chad Green. GM Brian Cashman appears to have found that missing piece.
According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, veteran right-hander Darren O’Day agreed to a one-year contract to join the Yankees for 2021. Joel Sherman later reported that the deal would be worth $1.75 million, and that it included a $1.4 million player option for 2022 (the Yankees can also buy this out for $700,000). If O’Day declines the option, then Yankees can still pick it up for $3.15 million.
O’Day should be a familiar name to Yankees fans, as the 38-year-old has spent the majority of his 13-year career with the Orioles. Like his old pal Britton, he was one of the staples of Buck Showalter’s bullpen from 2012-18, pitching to a 2.40 ERA and 0.994 WHIP in 391 games. A forearm strain sidelined him for most of 2019 after the Braves acquired him, but in 27 games since September 2019, he’s remained quite good for Atlanta, notching a 1.25 ERA and 0.785 WHIP in 21 2⁄3 innings.
The best part about O’Day is that his sidearming motion adds a wrinkle into the bullpen mix. When O’Day is at the top of his game, it’s tough for opposing hitters to get comfortable with that, especially given that they’ll likely have to deal with Britton’s sinker and Chapman’s heat so soon after.
Darren O'Day, Mechanics/Arm Action. pic.twitter.com/8xAP9k5eWL— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 29, 2018
We’ll have more to come on O’Day soon, but what are your initial thoughts?