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Red Sox 'all in' on free agent reliever Darren O'Day

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The Red Sox have an obvious need in their bullpen for O'Day, but they aren't alone in chasing him.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox need bullpen help. They needed it last season, too, but couldn't sign Andrew Miller as they hoped, and their offseason and in-season acquisitions didn't work out, either, save the second half of Robbie Ross. They're looking to fix things by going after the most significant reliever on the free agent market again, and this time it's Darren O'Day. Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox are one of six teams who are "all in" on the 33-year-old reliever.

Since joining the Orioles in 2012, O'Day owns a 1.92 ERA with 9.7 strikeouts per nine and a 4.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His most recent season was also his best, with O'Day's punch outs jumping to 11.3 per nine while his walks dropped under two per nine. He'll likely cost real and significant money, thanks to both his performance and the number of interested teams, but the Red Sox have both the funds and the need to make it happen.

If O'Day wants to close, that could throw a wrench in things for Boston, given the presence of Koji Uehara. Koji is in the final year of his deal, though, so maybe he won't mind being pushed back to setup work for his age-41 season, which very well could be his last one. What the Sox could also do instead is to just pay O'Day like a closer and make it clear the role is his in 2017, giving Boston the trio of Koji, O'Day, and Junichi Tazawa to go along with Ross. This all assumes, of course, that O'Day is even seeking that role. He certainly has the talent, but you know how front offices can get about the whole "proven closer" thing sometimes.

Will the Tigers, Nationals, Dodgers, Royals, or Cubs outspend the Sox? It seems unlikely for all of them, considering the Royals' budget and the presence of Wade Davis, and the Nationals already having to try to figure out how to make Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen coexist in one bullpen. The Tigers, Dodgers, and Cubs are all legitimate threats monetarily, and at least the Tigers have an obvious spot for him as a closer should they decide to dangle that role in front of him.