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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Orioles plan on buying out Raffy Palmeiro's 2005 option 

On the heels of a disappointing .261/.369/.432 season, the Baltimore Orioles have said they will not exercise Rafael Palmeiro's $4.5 million option, and will exercise their $500,000 buyout instead.

Had Palmeiro, who turns 40 on Friday, played in 140 games in the field, the option would have automatically vested. In the wake of Palmeiro's struggles, however, the team has been using him as a DH more and more in the second half, with some suggesting it was a move purposefully made to avoid triggering the option.

Palmeiro is 88 hits away from 3000, which might be incentive enough for him to attempt to latch on with another team in 2005 in a bench role, in order to try to hang on long enough to reach that milestone. It will be hard for him to get a guaranteed contract, however, and he's probably limited to trying to find an American League team that would sign him to a minor league deal and make him a non-roster invitee to camp this spring. I wouldn't be shocked if he elected to just hang it up.


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