NEW YORK — Side-arming reliever Darren O’Day is guaranteed $3.15 million in his contract with the New York Yankees, which has both player and team options for 2022.
The 38-year-old right-hander gets $1.75 million this year in the deal. The contract includes a $1.4 million player option for 2022 and, if he declines his option, the Yankees would decide on a $3.15 million team option with a $700,000 buyout.
O’Day takes the spot vacated when the Yankees traded right-hander Adam Ottavino to Boston, a move that cut $7.15 million from New York’s payroll. O’Day figures to join left-hander Zack Britton and right-hander Chad Green as the primary setup men for closer Aroldis Chapman.
Right-hander Ben Heller was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.
O’Day was 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over 19 games last year with Atlanta, striking out 22 and walking five while allowing eight hits.
While his fastball averaged just 86 mph, his low arm angle creates deception; right-hander hitters batted .143 (7 for 49) off him with one home run, by Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, the leadoff batter of O’Day’s final appearance of the season. Left-handed hitters were 1 for 10.
He became a free agent when Atlanta declined a $3.25 million option, triggering a $250,000 buyout.
O’Day is a 13-year major league veteran, going 40-19 with a 2.51 ERA and 600 strikeouts and 158 walks in 576 2/3 innings for the Los Angeles Angels (2008), New York Mets (2009), Texas (2009-11), Baltimore (2012-18) and Braves (2019-20).
He was an All-Star in 2015, when he had a 1.52 ERA and six saves while striking out 82 in 65 1/3 innings, but he missed the final two months of the 2018 season with a strained left hamstring and the first five months of 2019 with a strained right forearm sustained during spring training.
O’Day earned $833,333 in prorated pay last year from a $2.25 million salary, down from a $31 million, four-year contract he signed with Baltimore ahead of the 2016 season.