The Atlanta Braves have a tough choice to make this off-season. Should they move on from cornerstone Nick Markakis or attempt to re-sign him?
With Nick scheduled to become a free agent should the Braves consider bringing Markakis back? The answer is a simple one, yes. Markakis has had a great season and is a leader in the clubhouse.
He is a quiet leader who leads by example setting the tone and giving the young guys an example of how a BIg Leaguer carries himself.
Ender Inciarte has been struggling this season hovering around .240 for much of the season. A newfound platoon between Ronald Acuna and Ender in center has been put in place because of his struggles.
With Markakis leaving the Braves will need at least one outfielder if not two. Bringing back Nick is a good idea if he will sign a team friendly deal considering his age.
Signing Nick for two more years would be a good scenario. It would allow the team to keep him as a constant. Two years would be the perfect deal for Atlanta allowing them to add another star or two have a starter in Nick.
Keeping Acuna, Markakis, and Ender in the outfield would still allow the Braves to take a shot at a top free agent outfielder if they wished. But they would have the same outfield stability in place if needed.
Adam Duvall could play a role in the outfield next season as well if he can finish this season on a high note. His .204 average so far has been less than impressive.
The problem for the Braves is the fact Markakis may be a hot commodity with the season he is currently having. He is a low strikeout high contact hitter a rarity in today’s game.
Locking up Markakis sooner rather than later should be the Braves goal. It will keep their core together as the team continues to improve in the years to come.