Yankees sign former All-Star reliever in wake of Adam Ottavino trade


Bullpen help is on the way, Yankees fans!

Perhaps faster than we thought, the New York Yankees have acted to address their bullpen two days after trading Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox. On Wednesday, general manager Brian Cashman made a move to fill the vacancy.

According to reports, the Yankees are signing side-arm reliever Darren O’Day, who most recently played with the Atlanta Braves. Fans might know him from his days with the Baltimore Orioles, however, where he spent seven years and maintained a 2.40 ERA.

Across this 13-year career, O’Day is 40-19 with a 2.51 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 600 strikeouts in 604 games (576.2 innings pitched). Yup, we’ll take that!

It’s a one-year deal for $2.45 million. Bargain! O’Day is 38 years old, so he’s probably not commanding a whole lot, but he did have a dominant 2020 campaign with the Braves (1.10 ERA and 0.79 WHIP).

Regardless of the price, this is a great change of pace option for the Yankees bullpen. He’s a two-pitch guy with a nasty slider, but he doesn’t throw nearly as hard as Ottavino. The Bombers are getting another slider specialist but his fastball (86 MPH) and slider (78 MPH) averages should throw off the timing of opposing lineups with guys like Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman hurling gas.

O’Day was last an All-Star back in 2015 with the Orioles when he registered a 1.52 ERA and 0.93 WHIP across 68 games (65.1 innings). He’s clearly still got it, proving that his style of pitching is effective as he continues into his late-30s. And we have to acknowledge the seven years of experience in the AL East.

Since O’Days deal came in on the cheaper side, expect the Yankees to add another arm in addition to the (likely) return of Brett Gardner. For now, this is tremendous news for a pitching staff that badly needs to patch up some holes.