Orioles to sign Darren O’Day, A’s to sign Ryan Madson to multi-year deals

BaronThe short relief market is beginning to become more defined as the Winter Meetings approach.

The A’s have agreed to sign 35-year-old RHP Ryan Madson to a three-year, $22 million contract, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

This news follows Darren O’Day agreeing to terms on a four-year, $31 million contract with the Orioles early Sunday, according to multiple reports, although he denied an agreement has been reached early Sunday afternoon.

Suddenly, it looks like the Mets tendering a contract to Jenrry Mejia wasn’t a bad idea after all.

Madson’s deal is especially surprising, considering he hadn’t pitched since 2011 after missing the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons with a variety of injuries, including undergoing Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow. But he had an excellent year in 2015 with the Royals, going 1-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 68 appearances with a 195 ERA+.

2015 Winter MeetingsThe Mets have sought to shore up their late-inning relief corps and build a lockdown formula inclusive of Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning. They’ve tendered a contract to Addison Reed, but are still in need of one right-handed reliever, as well as a left-handed reliever.

They’ve reportedly shown interest in O’Day, Joakim Soria and Steve Cishek, but these two deals for O’Day and Madson will help the latter two relievers net multi-year deals in free agency, especially Madson’s deal considering both Soria and Cishek are younger than him.

But in the case of Soria, he should now be able to get at least a three-year deal, and equal money to Madson, at worst.

Cishek is a little different in that he isn’t eligible for free agency again until 2018. He was a super-two player in 2014 so he has two years of arbitration left before he can become a free agent. So, any team who signs him – even if it’s to a one-year deal – gets that extra year of control anyway. So, perhaps the Mets or his other suitors might consider a two-year, $9-10 million deal for Cishek, which would be very team-friendly.

But no matter what, if the Mets intend to add the quality they seek, they clearly need to consider multi-year offers for such options, as it will be difficult to find what they’re looking for on one-year terms.

In addition to Soria and Cishek, Trevor Cahill, Antonio Bastardo, Tony Sipp, Tyler Clippard and Jonathan Broxton are among the notable relievers still on the open market, but the Mets have not yet been connected to any of those pitchers.

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