The Baltimore Orioles announced their option decisions last night, according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko. They have exercised their options on starter Wei-Yin Chen ($4.75 million) and reliever Darren O'Day ($4.25 million). while declining options on right fielder Nick Markakis and catcher Nick Hundley, making them free agents.
Chen, 29, went 16-6 with an ERA of 3.54 over 31 starts in 2014, so his $4.75 million option was an easy decision for the Orioles, who need help with their rotation going into the offseason. Chen had made 54 starts over the last two seasons, just two shy of the mark he needed to hit for his 2015 salary to become a guaranteed $6 million. O'Day was marvelous this season, recording four saves and had a career low ERA of 1.70 in 68 appearances.
Markakis' mutual option was worth $17.5 million while his buyout was only $2 million, so the Orioles will likely look to retain his services at a lower price through free agency. Markakis has spent all nine years of his career in Baltimore, which could play a role in his eventual decision. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, teams like the Giants are said to have considerable interest in Markakis, as well.
Hundley had an option for $5 million and required no buyout. The backstop was acquired from the San Diego Padres in late May in light of Matt Wieters undergoing season ending surgery, and had a .625 OPS in fifty games for the Orioles. He will likely pursue a job as a backup catcher on the free agent market.