Orioles decline their half of the 2015 mutual option for Nick Markakis

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The Orioles announced on Twitter that the organization has declined their half of the 2015 mutual option, worth $17.5 million, left on the contract of outfielder Nick Markakis. Instead, they will pay him a $2 million buyout, making him a free agent.

Markakis, who turns 31 in November, hit .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 710 plate appearances, helping the Orioles reach the ALCS for the first time since 1997. Markakis batted .258 in 31 post-season at-bats against the Tigers and Royals.

Markakis joins a free agent outfield class that includes former teammate Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter, and Michael Cuddyer.