Darren O’Day provides an elite weapon against right-handed hitters for the Yankees

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are still making waves in the free agent market, even after adding DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber and trading for Jameson Taillon. This time, they decided to bring a veteran, effective bullpen arm in Darren O’Day.

“Sources: Yankees in agreement on a deal with relief pitcher Darren O’Day, pending physical,” The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler tweeted on Wednesday. Other writers confirmed the news.

Much like Adam Ottavino – who was traded in the past few days to the Boston Red Sox in a salary relief move – O’Day is the kind of side-arm righty that is very, very tough on batters of his same hand.



According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, O’Day will receive $1.75M in 2021. There is a $1.4M player option for 2022 or a $700K buyout. If O’Day declines the option, the New York Yankees have a $3.15M option.

The Yankees are getting a good one

Pitching in the American League East is nothing new for O’Day, who was a member of the Baltimore Orioles from 2012 to 2018.

For his career, the 38-year-old O’Day has a 2.51 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 604 career games.

Despite his fame as a righty specialist, the Yankees are getting a complete reliever. He has held lefties to a .228/.299/.412 line with a .303 wOBA. Of course, he has been far more effective vs. right-handed hitters, with a stellar .193/.262/.287 and a paltry .248 wOBA.

His 2020 was stellar with the Atlanta Braves. In 16.1 innings, he had a 1.10 ERA and a 2.76 FIP, with 12.12 K/9 and 2.76 BB/9.

While not as dominant and versatile as guys like Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton or Chad Green, the New York Yankees are acquiring what could theoretically be their fourth-best reliever and another reliable arm with an eye on the playoffs.

The Yankees, even after adding O’Day, still have some room in the payroll before hitting the luxury tax threshold of $210M. Will they go for another reliever? Will they seek a left-handed bat?