UPDATE (Nov. 11, 9:00 a.m. PT): According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to show interest in reliever Darren O’Day:
The #Dodgers are showing significant interest in free agent reliever Darren O'Day, according to an MLB source.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 11, 2015
The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been a point of contention over the last two seasons as it at times has been the Achilles heel of the team.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in his introductory press conference last year it was the area that concerned him most given the “volatile” nature of bullpens.
As such, Friedman collected and cycled through plenty of relievers during Spring Training and the regular season. Although improved in 2015, there’s still room for upgrades within the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Reinforcement may be found with Baltimore Orioles reliever Darren O’Day as the Dodgers are among the teams interested in the 33 year old, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Darren O’Day is getting a lot of hits, and the Dodgers, Tigers, Nats and Red Sox are all pitching. The Orioles are trailing at present.
Since joining the Orioles in 2012, O’Day is 23-8 with a 1.92 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 3.05 xFIP, 0.94 WHIP, 12 saves and 65 games finished in 273 appearances. He’s appeared in 68 games over each of the last three seasons, and made his first All-Star team in 2015.
Moreover, the sidewinder lowered his walk rate from 7 percent in 2014 to 5.5 percent last season, while increasing his strikeout rate from 26.9 percent to 31.9 percent over that same stretch.
Opponents hit a combined .198/.257/.283 with five home runs and five doubles in 257 plate appearances last season. O’Day was particularly tough on right-handers, holding them to .192/.236/.256 with four extra-base hits, 59 strikeouts and six walks in 165 plate appearances.
O’Day’s four-pitch mix is comprised of a fastball, sinker, slider and changeup. His fastball averaged 87.1 mph last season, with the sinker averaging 86.1 mph, slider at 79.3 mph and changeup averaging 79.1 mph.
Outside of four games with the New York Mets in 2009, O’Day has spent the entirety of his eight-year career in the American League.
The right-handed relievers who currently figure to factor into the Dodgers’ bullpen picture next season are Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio.
Joel Peralta’s $2.5 million team option was declined on Friday.