Report: Nick Markakis agrees to 4-year contract with Atlanta Braves


UPDATE #2: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms that the contract between Nick Markakis and the Braves is for four years and $44 million. 


UPDATE: Mark Bowman of has confirmed the initial report that Nick Markakis has reached an agreement with the Atlanta Braves.


On Wednesday afternoon, word broke (courtesy of ESPN’s Buster Olney) that the Atlanta Braves and free agent outfielder Nick Markakis had been discussing a potential four-year pact and that the talks were “intensifying”. Now, it appears as if the two sides have agreed to a four-year deal, though the monetary portion of the deal is still being worked out, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

The deal has been rumored, throughout the process, to be in the $11 million per year range, and that strikes me as a vast overpayment. Markakis does have a 6+ WAR season under his belt, but that came as a 24-year-old in 2008, and now, the former Baltimore Orioles outfielder is trending in the wrong direction at the age of 31.

Pundits who are in favor of this move will point to Markakis as a career .290 hitter with a .358 career on-base percentage, and while those numbers are undeniably appealing, it is unlikely that he is that player at this point. In the past two seasons, Nick Markakis has not slugged better than .386 in either campaign, and with OBP numbers of .329 and .342 in 2013 and 2014, respectively, his offensive upside is vastly limited.

In addition, Markakis is not a player who has a skill profile that will age well, as his defense is already declining (despite highly misleading “Gold Gloves”), and with an eight-figure salary, he would need to produce 2-3 WAR per season to live up to those lofty earnings. It isn’t crazy to think that he could do that in the early stages of the deal, but giving a 31-year-old outfielder a four-year contract is less than ideal, and this one could bite John Hart in the long term.

Details will continue to roll in, but for now, it appears that the Atlanta Braves have their right fielder in Nick Markakis. Now? There is that small issue of what to do with Evan Gattis and Justin Upton.