The Baltimore Orioles have signed reliever Darren O'Day to a contract extension which will pay him $2.2 million in 2013 and $3.2 million in 2014, and which includes a team option for 2015 at $4.25 million with a $400,000 buyout.
O'Day, of course, was a key part of the Rangers' bullpen in 2009 and 2010, putting up a 1.99 ERA in 117.2 innings pitched. He then had a poor 2011 season, struggling with injuries and allowing 7 homers in 16.2 innings, resulting in a 5.40 ERA and convincing the Rangers that it was time to cut bait with him.
O'Day was claimed on waivers in November, 2011, and had a great bounceback season for the Orioles, putting up a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings. And to rub salt in the wound, O'Day pitched two shutout innings against Texas in the one-game Wild Card matchup in 2012 that saw the Rangers get bounced from the playoffs.
There was a lot of talk about Pedro Strop's breakout 2012 season...the Rangers traded him late in 2011 for Mike Gonzalez, who threw just a handful of innings for them. But Strop had no future in Texas...either Ron Washington or Mike Maddux (or both) had decided that Strop wasn't going to be a contributor, he was out of options after 2011, and the Rangers were going to lose him regardless, since there was no way he was going to make the team at the start of 2012.
O'Day, on the other hand, was a guy who had proven himself and been a key part of a couple of quality Ranger teams before his shaky 2011 campaign. Strop was at least dealt for something...the Rangers simply gave O'Day away. And when you look at the state of the current Ranger bullpen, you have to think that the Rangers would really like to have O'Day back right now.