The Orioles declined their half of a $17.5 million mutual option on outfielder Nick Markakis on Friday night, but Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the two sides are currently discussing a new multi-year deal to keep Markakis in Baltimore.
Markakis will officially become a free agent on Monday at midnight, and a deal may not be reached by then, but O’s manager Buck Showalter believes the outfielder will return.
“I think we’re going to keep working on it until we get something done,” Showalter said. “Usually those things have a way of working themselves out.”
Aside from an offensive dip in 2013, Markakis has been a reliable player for the Orioles, providing 10-15 home runs with an above-average on-base percentage. He has been worth between 1.7 and 2.9 Wins Above Replacement in five out of the last six seasons, according to Baseball Reference. Markakis turns 31 in November.