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Source: Nats favorite for O'Day, Orioles in mix

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Darren O'Day pitches against the Cleveland Indians at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Darren O'Day pitches against the Cleveland Indians at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Reliever Darren O'Day has narrowed his free-agent landing spot to three teams, including the Orioles, but the sense late Friday night was that the most likely destination is Baltimore's geographic rival, the Washington Nationals.

One source said O'Day could soon sign with the Nationals, which would put an end to his splendid, four-year stint with the Orioles.

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However, the Orioles also hadn't given up hope in re-signing the right-hander as of Friday evening and may have made a late charge. The Atlanta Braves are also in the mix, though the Los Angeles Dodgers are no longer being considered.

It still remains possible – perhaps likely -- O'Day agrees to a contract before Monday's winter meetings begin in Nashville.

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O'Day, 33, posted a sub-2.00 ERA and pitched in at least 68 games in each of his four seasons in Baltimore. He became a clubhouse and fan favorite, always serenaded with chants of "O'Daaaaaay, "O'Day, O'Day, O'Day," whenever he pitched.

The Nationals and Orioles are natural fits. O'Day and his wife, Washington-based Fox News anchor/reporter Elizabeth Prann, live in between Baltimore and Washington D.C.

The Nationals desperately need to rebuild their bullpen and O'Day has been a key cog for the Orioles since they grabbed him off waivers from the Texas Rangers in 2011.

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