The club will pay a $2 million buyout rather than the $17.5 million option.
The Orioles now have 32 players on their 40-man roster. They still haven’t confirmed that they’re also declining the $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley’s contract.
Markakis, the seventh overall pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, batted .276/.342/.386 with 27 doubles, 14 home runs and 50 RBIs in 155 games. He signed a six-year, $66.1 million extension in January 2009 and earned $15 million this season.
The Orioles remain in negotiations with Markakis’ agent, Jamie Murphy, on a multi-year deal. Markakis has a home in Monkton and his family wants to stay. The Orioles want to hold onto him.
“Nick is a dependable player and the Orioles would like to continue a relationship with him,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette in a text message.