MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Source: Nats have serious interest in O'Day

Source: Nats have serious interest in O'Day

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are in need of bullpen help, and a baseball source confirmed that the club has serious interest in free-agent reliever Darren O'Day.

If O'Day were to join the Nationals, he would be the setup man they've been seeking since they traded Tyler Clippard to the Athletics before the 2015 season. O'Day was phenomenal for the Orioles this past season, posting a 1.52 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings while making his first All-Star appearance.

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O'Day, 33, has been in the big leagues for eight years and has a career 2.31 ERA, while opposing hitters have hit .208 against him.

Having O'Day on the roster could be a significant improvement compared to what the Nationals had this past season. Their setup men included Blake Treinen, Casey Janssen and Drew Storen, all of whom were inconsistent. Janssen's option for 2016 was not picked up, while the Nationals are looking to trade Storen.

According to reports, O'Day is looking for a four-year deal. It will be interesting to see if the Nationals give a reliever like O'Day that amount of years. During the Mike Rizzo era, the Nationals have never given a reliever more than two years. For example, Rafael Soriano received a two-year deal from Washington before the 2013 season.

There are a lot of teams competing for O'Day's services, some of which could offer him the opportunity to close games, which he likely wouldn't have in Washington.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.