Orioles decline 2010 option on Mora
BALTIMORE -- 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.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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