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O'Day a free agent as Braves decline option

@mlbbowman
October 29, 2020

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

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.

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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.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.