The Atlanta Braves got to work on their bullpen on Friday evening, agreeing to a deal with right-handed pitcher Darren O’Day. The reliever will pitch in 2020 for $2.25 million with a club option for 2021 in which he can earn a $1.25-million raise.
O’Day came over at the trade deadline in 2018 from the Baltimore Orioles as part of the Kevin Gausman deal. He was already on the injured list — after a hamstring surgery ended his season — having not appeared in a game since June 26. He did not pitch for the Braves until September of this year, but when the right-handed submarine specialist returned he was effective.
The recently-turned 37 year old appeared in eight games down the stretch in limited use, only tossing 5.1 innings. He allowed just one run and struck out six while walking one. O’Day appeared in four of the five Braves’ NLDS games, tossing two innings, striking out two, allowing one hit and no runs.
Prior to the injury in 2018, O’Day was a quality bullpen arm, and should serve to strengthen the Braves bullpen. For his career, O’Day has a 2.55 ERA and 3.45 FIP across 560.1 innings pitched, striking out 578 batters and posting a career 1.03 WHIP. You can see an increase in his home runs allowed in his age 34-36 seasons, which is a minor concern in SunTrust Park, but O’Day should be a welcomed addition back in the bullpen.
That’s three veterans the Braves have signed this week, already bringing back Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers for the 2020 season.