Braves Re-Sign Nick Markakis For Pennies (Well, Six Hundred Million of Them)

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Braves Re-Sign Nick Markakis For Pennies (Well, Six Hundred Million of Them)

Chicago Cubs

Nick Markakis is 35, doesn’t play especially great outfield defense, and has been a solidly below-average overall player in three of his four seasons in Atlanta.

However, he’s coming off his best season in a long time, in which he hit .297/.366/.440 with a 114 wRC+, and was worth 2.6 WAR. Even as a fourth outfielder who only plays on the corners, that’s a guy most teams would still like to have available. And yet, after three months of free agency, Markakis winds up re-signing with the Braves for relative pennies:

Per multiple reports, that 2020 option has a $2 million buyout, so it’s $6 million guaranteed, or $10 million over two years.

Like I said at the top, Markakis’s market was probably limited by his age and his recent past before 2018, but $6 to $10 million for a year or two of a guy who can hit above average in a corner outfield spot? That’s not a bad deal at all for the Braves.

And it’s a reminder of just how cost-conscious this market has become. Even if the Cubs ate gobs and gobs of Jason Heyward’s deal, they’re just not going to find a taker out there (the Braves were speculated as a landing spot). It was always going to take a bad contract swap, and that’s not happening for him or for Tyler Chatwood.

You are also reminded that Ben Zobrist, at $12.5 million for 2019, is probably not a bargain in this market.

Having waited this long to make any kind of addition in the bullpen or behind Willson Contreras, I guess you can at least hope that the Cubs are in position to land a bargain or two, if that’s all they can afford.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.