The Orioles are still in the hunt for their free agent reliever Darren O'Day. After a Tuesday report that the O's had made a "competitive offer" to O'Day, Friday night brings The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly with the news that the O's are one of three teams who are in on O'Day as the process nears the finish line. The other two teams are the Nationals and the Braves.
If that's the case, the team with the deepest pockets in baseball, the Dodgers, has been winnowed out of the field. It's always a surprise when the team that can spend the most doesn't get a particular free agent. Earlier on Friday, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal noted that one of the other teams pursuing O'Day, the Nationals, don't expect to have the high bid for O'Day, but are still hopeful that they might land him, since his wife works out of D.C. for Fox News.
One more reporter chiming in on O'Day right now is MASN's Roch Kubatko, who believes the Dodgers were in fact the high bidders for O'Day but that he wants to stay on the East Coast. Kubatko also adds that "some" with the Orioles view the Nationals as the favorites, and that this perception is also shared by people outside of the organization.
Yesterday, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the "expectation in the industry" is that O'Day's contract will come in the $32-34 million range over four years. That sounds like a lot of money for a non-closer, and it certainly is, but at the same time, it's not a lot of money for a guy who has a 1.92 ERA over the past four seasons combined.
A missing piece of information here is how whatever offer the Orioles have made stacks up against where the Nationals are. Another missing piece is which of the two teams will be willing to expand their existing offer in order to get O'Day.
If there are Orioles people viewing the Nationals as the favorites, that would seem to indicate the Nationals are currently offering more, but you never really know with this stuff. Maybe the Orioles are close enough to where O'Day will end up deciding to stick with the team and manager under whom he's had such consistent success.
The reporter collective in general seems to view O'Day as being soon to sign, although they've been saying that for about a week now and nothing has happened just yet. Connolly today writes "definitely by the end of the Winter Meetings," which still leaves almost a week for things to happen. Don't hold your breath.