The Orioles didn’t pull any surprises today while determining which options would be picked up for the 2015 season.
The club will exercise the $4.75 million option on left-hander Wei-Yin Chen’s contract and the $4.25 million option on reliever Darren O’Day’s contract. It declined the $17.5 million option on right fielder Nick Markakis and the $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley, making both players free agents.
Markakis receives a $2 million buyout. Meanwhile, the Orioles are attempting to sign him to a multi-year deal.
Hundley’s contract, which the Orioles inherited from the Padres after a May 24 trade for left-hander Troy Patton, didn’t include a buyout.
The Orioles have five days of exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents before the other teams are allowed to make offers.
Chen, who earned $4.072 million this season, went 16-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 31 starts. His 16 victories were the most by an Orioles left-hander since Jeff Ballard won 18 games in 1989.
The Orioles signed Chen to a three-year, $11.3 million contract in January 2012 that included a $250,000 bonus.
O’Day, who earned $3.2 million this season, went 5-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 68 appearances and was tagged with both losses at Camden Yards in the American League Championship Series. He allowed 42 hits in 68 2/3 innings during the regular season.
The Orioles signed O’Day to a two-year, $5.8 million extension in February 2013.
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 on January 2009 and earned $15 million this season.
Hundley made $4 million this season while batting .233/.273/.352 with four doubles, five home runs and 19 RBIs in 50 games with the Orioles. He threw out 5 of 27 (19 percent) runners attempting to steal after going 0-for-9 with the Padres.
“O’Day and Chen are solid, dependable veteran pitchers and both had excellent years in 2014,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “We look forward to their contribution to a winning Orioles team in 2015.”
Update: The Orioles haven’t officially announced that they declined the options on Markakis and Hundley, but that’s still the anticipated outcome. They weren’t included in the press release and I’ve been told previously that the options would be declined.
Notes: The Orioles didn’t have anyone selected this year for a Fielding Bible award. Here are the winners:
Multi-position - Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
First base - Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Second base - Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Third base - Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
Shortstop - Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves
Left field - Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Center field - Juan Lagares, New York Mets
Right field - Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
Catcher - Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
Pitcher - Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
The Red Sox announced that they signed former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara to a two-year extension.
The deal reportedly is worth $18 million.