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Red Sox free agent target Darren O'Day has 'offers in hand'

No one knows if one of those offers came from the Sox.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It's a good thing Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox plan to move fast this offseason, as it appears the other teams chasing free agent reliever Darren O'Day are doing the same. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, O'Day already has "offers in hand," and while we don't know who they are from or exactly how many they are, we do know O'Day is already preparing to speak to managers of those teams soon.

It makes sense that O'Day would need to talk to managers of teams interested in him, as he's a setup guy who has also been one of the most valuable relievers in baseball over the past few years: he has a 1.92 ERA over the past four years and 263 innings, and struck out nearly six times as many batters as he walked in 2015. O'Day is more than prepared to take on a closer role, so figuring out where he would slot in if that job is appealing to him should not come as a surprise.

The Red Sox probably won't use O'Day as closer out of the gate if they signed him, but with 2016 the last season that Koji Uehara is under contract -- and with Uehara 41 next season -- it's easy enough to say the job is his if Koji goes down or as soon as 2017. They would likely have to pay him as if he were a closer even if he's not initially in that role, though, just to keep up with what other teams are offering.

That's all a guess, of course: any details about these offers are secret at this point, we just know that a number of teams have been reported to be "all in" on O'Day, a list that included the Red Sox but also the Tigers, Cubs, Dodgers, Nationals, and Royals. Olney added the Giants to this group as well. We also know that the Red Sox need to add someone -- okay, probably a couple of someones -- to the bullpen to keep it from ruining their chances in 2016.

O'Day is basically the lone significant relief piece on the free agent market. There should be alternatives in trades, and Joakim Soria has his positives, but O'Day is the closest thing to guaranteed bullpen dominance anyone can find on the open market.