According to multiple reports, the Washington Nationals remain in the mix for free agent right-hander Darren O'Day, with at least one report, from Baltimore Sun writer Dan Connolly on Twitter, labeling the Nationals as a "clear front-runner" for his services.
Earlier this afternoon, the Nationals reportedly signed veteran left-hander Oliver Perez to what is said to be a 2-year/$7M contract.
Can they land the top free agent reliever on the market as well as GM Mike Rizzo and Co. work to rebuild the bullpen that was an issue for the Nationals in 2015?
Connolly wrote earlier this afternoon that the "O'Day sweepstakes" were nearing a conclusion with a decision expected to potentially come before the start of the Winter Meetings and definitely before the end.
An hour later, Connolly tweeted the following:
Now hearing that the #Nationals are the clear front-runner for O'Day. A deal could happen soon. O'Day has spent last 4 years w Os— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) December 4, 2015
O'Day's wife, Elizabeth Prann, is a FoxNews anchor/reporter based out of DC. Couple lives in between Balt/DC. Nats need bullpen help. Have $— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) December 4, 2015
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported this afternoon on Twitter that the signing of Perez to a two-year deal would not affect their pursuit of O'Day:
However, #Nationals do not expect to be high bidder for O’Day, per sources. Hoping he takes less because his wife works for Fox News in D.C.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2015
To clarify #Nationals’ position on O’Day: Team also reluctant to extend itself past certain point for reliever. Many clubs share that view.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2015
Recent reports say the 34-year-old submariner, who was (6-2) with six saves, a 1.52 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 14 walks (1.93 BB/9) and 82 Ks (11.30 K/9) in 65 ⅓ innings last season, holding opposing hitters to a combined .198/.257/.283 line, was expected to get a four-year deal:
Expectation in the industry is that Darren O'Day lands a 4-yr deal at slightly under Andrew Miller money. Maybe $32-34M.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 3, 2015
UPDATE - 8:02 PM - In an article by MLB.com's Cash Kruth tonight, he writes that, "... "... a source told MLB.com that O'Day might sign with the Nationals as soon as Friday night."