ATLANTA -- If Darren O'Day returns to the Braves’ bullpen next season, he will do so with a salary less than what he had previously hoped to receive.
The Braves announced O’Day’s $3.25 million option ($250,000 buyout) for the 2021 season will not be exercised. The 38-year-old reliever is now a free agent, and he will eventually choose whether he wants to continue pitching in Atlanta or extend his career with a better offer elsewhere.
O’Day posted a 1.25 ERA over 27 appearances (21 2/3 innings) with the Braves over the past two seasons. The former All-Star was acquired from the Orioles in 2018, while he was recovering from season-ending surgery on his left hamstring.
Coincidentally, before the start of the 2018 season, O’Day and his wife had purchased a home in suburban Atlanta because he had targeted the city as a possible late-career or retirement destination.
After missing most of 2019 with a right forearm strain, O’Day pitched well enough over eight September appearances to earn a spot on the postseason roster and gain the one-year, $2.75 million deal for 2020, which included the option that was not exercised.