Yankees announce corresponding move after adding Darren O’Day to 40-man roster


It didn’t happen because of a trade like many were expecting, but Darren O’Day is finally on the New York Yankees 40-man roster.

Back on Jan. 27, news broke that the Bombers had agreed to a one-year deal with O’Day, who spent 2020 with the Atlanta Braves. Fans were excited, but just like the DJ LeMahieu-Corey Kluber-Jameson Taillon situations, someone had to be moved off the active roster to make room for the right-hander.

Unfortunately for pitcher Ben Heller, he was the casualty. The Yankees announced Heller was designated for assignment, which isn’t exactly a surprise considering the 29-year-old has only pitched in 31 games since debuting in 2016. He missed all of 2018 after requiring Tommy John surgery that April, which was disappointing because he ended 2017 on a tremendous note.

But now it’s official. Heller will likely be looking for employment elsewhere while O’Day will likely take over Adam Ottavino’s role in the bullpen.

Though Heller certainly wasn’t bad, the Yankees bullpen has been stacked for years, so it’s been hard for him to carve out a role or even get a reasonable amount of playing time during the regular season. He also couldn’t stay healthy.

As for O’Day, he’ll make $2.5 million on this contract and there’s a team option for the 2022 season, which puts the Yankees in a great spot to keep continuity in their bullpen after this year. O’Day brings an entirely different element to this relief corps with his fastball-slider combo. His fastball has averaged 86.2 MPH for his career while his slider has consistently sat at 78.7 MPH.

When you have flamethrowers like Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman anchoring your bullpen, this change-of-pace option sure is valuable.

The 38-year-old also has seven years of experience pitching in the AL East thanks to his time with the Baltimore Orioles. Care to know his numbers against the Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays?

  • vs Boston: 2.45 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 64 games
  • vs Tampa Bay: 2.45 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 66 games
  • vs Toronto: 1.82 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 58 games

Welcome to New York, Darren.