Let’s be honest; when a GM is drawing up his payroll allotment, I think any GM worth his salt is going to be looking to pay a guy about 12 million bucks to throw 7.1 innings for him. And with Darren O’Day, that’s exactly what Alex Anthopolous got.
I’m kidding, of course, but not about what they got out of Darren O’Day. At one point, there was a reason to be suspicious as to whether or not he actually was employed by the Atlanta Braves, or even existed as a human. But that’s because O’Day was acquired in the 2018 trading deadline deal that landed the Braves Kevin Gausman, and taking on his salary was meant to reduce the prospect haul. He was recovering from a hamstring injury at the time, and there were no expectations O’Day would pitch for the Braves in 2018.
But there were expectations that O’Day would pitch in 2019, but this time an elbow injury meant that they would only get those aforementioned 7.1 IP in the 2019 season. There’s not much statistical breakdown to give you; he pitched 5.1 innings in the regular season, giving up one run while notching six strikeouts against one walk. And it was enough to garner a spot on the playoff roster, where he was quite helpful. In the 5-game series, O’Day appeared in 4 of them, 3 of which were to come in and get a key righty in games 1, 3, and 4. He pitched a full inning in mop up duty after… ya know, Folty happened.
Give O’Day another Day in Braves Uni?
Not sure if Atlanta will bring him back. He’s only pitched 25.1 regular season innings in the last two years between Baltimore and Atlanta, and he’ll be 37 next year. I would say that if his market value is in the $3-4M range for a one year commitment, then I think that makes sense for Atlanta based on where they are. I’m not sure, though, if another team will like his experience, chalk up his absence the last two years to two unrelated injuries, and ink him to a larger deal. At that point, I think the Braves would look at internal options and using those dollars elsewhere.