Orioles decline option on Mora

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2009 at 11:41 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Orioles have declined their $8 million option on Melvin Mora, allowing Baltimore's longest-tenured player to become eligible for free agency.

Mora, 37, came to the Orioles in a 2000 trade with the New York Mets. He played 1,256 games for Baltimore, including 807 at third base — the second-most in franchise history behind Brooks Robinson.

Mora's best season was 2004, when he hit .340 with 27 homers and 104 RBIs. He receives a $1 million buyout.

The Orioles also declined their $850,000 option on backup catcher Chad Moeller, who gets a $50,000 buyout.

The team also hired Jeff Datz as bench coach. Datz spent the past eight seasons on the Cleveland Indians' staff, including four years as bench coach.

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