O's working on deal with reliever O'Day

Free-agent right-hander has spent past four seasons pitching for Baltimore

O's working on deal with reliever O'Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Sunday night there's "more work to be done" until an official agreement is reached with right-hander Darren O'Day.

While Duquette, speaking to reporters assembled for the Winter Meetings, was coy on details and didn't offer a timeline, there is still a lot of optimism in the organization that a deal will ultimately be done.

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The two sides -- who are believed to be hammering out a four-year, $31 million pact that leaked Sunday morning -- have been in talks most of the offseason, with the Nationals and Orioles the two most logical landing spots for the free agent. Any agreement will require O'Day to undergo a full physical.

Although there isn't a lot of concern in the O's front office regarding O'Day's health, it is a stumbling block that has been an issue in the past with free agents, including Nick Markakis last offseason.

After reports surfaced Sunday that the two sides had come to an agreement, O'Day took to Twitter to pump the brakes.

If and when a deal is reached, keeping O'Day would be a solid sign for Orioles fans about the team's pivotal offseason. The righty was the team leader in the 'pen, and many teammates -- including, most recently, Adam Jones -- had publicly voiced the need to retain him.

Baltimore's projected payroll with O'Day would be more than $100 million as the O's try to fill out their rotation and remain interested in free-agent slugger Chris Davis.

Duquette also said on Sunday that the team is hoping to add a left-handed hitter to fill one of its outfield spots and a starting pitcher. The preference on a starter would be a lefty as well, since the Orioles lost their lone southpaw starter (Wei-Yin Chen) to free agency.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.