Have you, like me, spent the whole offseason assuming that Darren O'Day is going to be a goner from the Orioles next year? Not so fast! As the bidding for O'Day's services winds towards a conclusion, the Orioles have made a "competitive" offer, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
Competitive is in the eye of the beholder, and it's not like there's a consolation prize for making the third-best offer to a free agent. A team signs a particular guy or not. It is interesting, however, to know that the O's are still in the conversation at this point in the game. That means they're interested enough in O'Day that their offer to O'Day wasn't summarily rejected for being nowhere close to what other teams are offering.
At this point, there's not an exact length or dollar amount attached to the contract. Does "competitive" mean the Orioles have joined other teams in offering a fourth guaranteed year to O'Day? Does it mean they're close to, but not offering the highest, average annual value?
Even the possibility that the Orioles believe their offer is competitive when it's actually not is something worth considering. That said, in Connolly's article, he describes "an industry source" as having proclaimed that the O's made a competitive offer - so that doesn't sound like language that means "someone in the Warehouse." If it's someone like O'Day's agent, well, he'd certainly be in a position to know.
Connolly names three other teams as also being in the "final conversations" - the Nationals, Braves, and Dodgers. There may be others. Hot stove season is the time for the mystery team to shine, after all.
With the O's already having Zach Britton established at closer, and with Brad Brach and Mychal Givens seemingly ready to audition for an eighth inning role, O'Day making $7 million per year or more seems like a bit of an extravagance at first glance.
On the other hand, there's no such thing as having too many good pitchers. They could always sort out what to do about that later. If O'Day signed a four year contract with a consistent yearly salary, for instance, he'd stay the same price even as Britton gets more expensive in arbitration. A year down the road, the O's could explore trading Britton, confident that O'Day could step in as closer behind him. That's just one possibility, and one where the O's would need to surprise us by signing O'Day to get there anyway.
Do you think the O's will find a way to retain O'Day? Do you think that's a good use of their resources, considering other needs the team faces?