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.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Braves and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarría reunited on a one-year, $1 million contract.
Hechavarría, 30, began the season with the Mets but was released in mid-August and joined the Braves shortly thereafter. He enjoyed more success in Atlanta, albeit in a smaller sample size. In aggregate, Hechavarría hit .241/.299/.443 with nine home runs and 33 RBI over 221 trips to the plate. More importantly, he provided versatility with above-average defense.
The Braves are banking on Hechavarría doing more of the same in 2020 as a backup infielder. He will spell Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo, and Austin Riley as needed.