Orioles offered Cruz 3-year deal during season, the sides expected to talk this week

The Baltimore Orioles offered designated hitter Nelson Cruz a three-year deal before he hit free agency, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. The dollar value wasn’t reported, but the average yearly value was probably a huge step up from the $8 million Cruz made in 2014.

The Orioles are expected to meet with Cruz’s agent this week, according to executive vice-president Dan Duquette. Andy Martino was first to report on Twitter.

The slugger declined the Orioles’ qualifying offer for a one-year, $15.3-million contract. That will give the club a compensation pick if he signs anywhere else than in Baltimore.

On a side note, Olney reports that the Orioles and outfielder Nick Markakis remain in discussions regarding a multi-year contract. Duquette already stated that the club has enough payroll flexibility to sign both Cruz and Markakis.

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