NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees quickly found a replacement for their bullpen, agreeing to a $2.5 million, one-year contract with submarining right-hander Darren O’Day, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The deal includes player and club options for 2022, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement is a subject to a successful physical.
O’Day takes the spot vacated when the Yankees traded right-hander Adam Ottavino to Boston on Monday, a move that cut $7.15 million from New York’s payroll. O’Day figures to join left-hander Zack Britton and right-hander Chad Green as the primary setup men for closer Aroldis Chapman.
O’Day, 38, was 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over 19 games last year with Atlanta, striking out 22 and walking five while allowing eight hits. While his fastball averaged just 86 mph, his low arm angle creates deception; right-hander hitters batted .143 (7 for 49) off him with one home run, by Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, the leadoff batter of O’Day’s final appearance of the season. Left-handed hitters were 1 for 10.
He became a free agent when Atlanta declined a $3.25 million option, triggering a $250,000 buyout.
O’Day is a 13-year major league veteran, going 40-19 with a 2.51 ERA and 600 strikeouts and 158 walks in 576 2/3 innings for the Los Angeles Angels (2008), New York Mets (2009), Texas (2009-11), Baltimore (2012-18) and Braves (2019-20).
He was an All-Star in 2015, when he had a 1.52 ERA and six saves while striking out 82 in 65 1/3 innings, but he missed the final two months of the 2018 season with a strained left hamstring and the first five months of 2019 with a strained right forearm sustained during spring training.
He earned $833,333 in prorated pay last year from a $2.25 million salary, down from a $31 million, four-year contract he signed with Baltimore ahead of the 2016 season.
His wife, Elizabeth Prann, is a correspondent for HLN and CNN, formerly of Fox News.
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