Two days after the Baltimore Orioles declined the team's option on right fielder Nick Markakis, the two sides have made progress on a long-term extension, The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina reported Sunday.
The Orioles on Friday announced they declined their part of a mutual option, opting to pay a $2 million buyout instead of paying the full $17.5 million that would have been owed to Markakis next season. But Encina and MASN Sports' Roch Kubatko reported the two sides are working on the framework of a long-term deal. Kubatko reported the team and Markakis are discussing a four-year deal.
The Orioles have exclusive negotiating rights with Markakis until 11:59 p.m. on Monday night, after which he will be free to negotiate with any team.
The 30-year-old Markakis has spent his entire nine-year career with the Orioles. He was drafted seventh in 2003 and joined the team in 2006 after a stint in the minor leagues. In 2014, he helped the Orioles reach their first American League Championship Series since 1997. The Orioles, however, were swept by the Kansas City Royals.
In 155 games this season, Markakis hit .276 with a .342 on-base-percentage, .386 slugging percentage, 14 homers and 50 RBI. He also hit .258 in 31 plate appearances against the Detroit Tigers and the Royals in the postseason.
At an event on Saturday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he was confident Markakis would remain an Oriole.
“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.”