Sunday's roundup: O’Day staying with Orioles

Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun

Free-agent reliever Darren O’Day is likely to remain with the Orioles after agreeing in principle to a four-year, $31 million contract pending a physical and the completion of other contract specifics, an industry source confirmed Sunday morning.

O’Day, 33, was expected to agree to a deal with the Washington Nationals on Friday, according to a source, but the Orioles offered a fourth year.

Sources said the agreement was in its infancy and that details needed to be finalized. O’Day wrote on Twitter that he had “not reached an agreement with the O’s yet” and called reports of a deal “premature.”

If O’Day signs with the Orioles, the contract would average $7.75 million per year and will push the Orioles’ projected payroll for 2016 over $100 million. The average annual value of the contract comes in not too far under the four-year, $36 million contract ($9 million per year) Andrew Miller signed with the New York Yankees last offseason.

As the Orioles head to the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., re-signing O’Day or finding a suitable replacement was one of their top priorities. Now, they don’t have to be as concerned about the back end of their bullpen with the steady side-armer on board.

In four seasons with the Orioles, O’Day is 23-8 with a 1.92 ERA in 273 appearances. He has appeared in at least 68 games in each of his four years with the club, and is coming off the best season of his career (6-2, 1.52 ERA in 68 appearances).

CBSSports.com reported the deal first.

A’s, Madson reach deal

The Athletics filled a key need a day before the start of baseball’s winter meetings, agreeing to a three-year, $22 million contract with free-agent reliever Ryan Madson, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

A physical was still needed to finalize the deal.

In Madson, the club has found another proven pitcher for a bullpen that had an American League-worst 4.63 ERA last season for a team that lost 35 one-run games — and the veteran gets to play in his home state of California.

“Arms are still a priority for us,” Oakland general manager David Forst said this past week ahead of the winter meetings. “There are some other conversations that have unfolded. … There’s going to be plenty of conversation unfolding over the next 10 days as we get into Nashville.”

Madson, 35, went 1-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 68 outings and 631/3 innings for the World Series champion Royals this past season. This year marked his first in the AL following nine seasons with the Phillies.

The 35-year-old right-hander fills a big need in Oakland’s bullpen, which dealt with key injuries last season, including to closer Sean Doolittle. In a Wednesday trade with San Diego, the A’s acquired reliever Marc Rzepczynski, who later that night agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Last month, the A’s signed left-hander Rich Hill to a one-year, $6 million deal.

Associated Press contributed