With the Atlanta Braves limping to the National League‘s worst record to start the season, the team is a prime candidate to have a fire sale and stock up on prospects, leaving outfielder Nick Markakis as a possible candidate to be dealt. 

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Several Teams Showing Interest in Markakis

Monday, May 23

Per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies are “looking at” Markakis, “though the money is an issue there, especially with the Royals.”

According to SpotracMarkakis is due a $10.5 million base salary with a $500,000 signing bonus in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, so his addition won’t be cheap for prospective buyers.

And the 32-year-old hasn’t exactly been lighting up opposing pitching this season, hitting .245 with one home run and 24 RBI. He did hit .296 with the Braves last season, though he managed only three home runs and 53 RBI. It was the first season in his career he didn’t hit 10 or more home runs.

Nonetheless, Markakis remains a good defensive outfielder and was a Gold Glover in right field twice during his time with the Baltimore Orioles (2011, 2014), giving him added value.

And while his .354 on-base percentage is hardly elite, he’s still managed to find ways to get on base despite his low batting average this season.

Both the Royals and Phillies are intriguing options for Markakis, though perhaps for opposite reasons. The defending World Series champions are just 22-21 this season and could use added depth in the outfield to bolster another potential October run. Meanwhile, the Phillies are one of the biggest surprises in baseball and currently sit at 25-19 after being MLB‘s worst team a year ago.

With the Braves mired in the basement and unlikely to claw their way out, players like Markakis will almost assuredly be dealt this year, and more contending teams will likely join the fray for his services. Even if the Royals or Phillies don’t pull the trigger, there will be a team on the market willing to absorb his salary over the next two seasons.


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