The Atlanta Braves are going to face a lot of tough decisions this off-season as the majority of their veteran core will hit free agency. That includes veteran outfielder Nick Markakis who has a team option year in 2020.
Whether to bring back Nick Markakis is one of the more complicated decisions that the Atlanta Braves are going to face this off-season. Nick is a consistent veteran, but not a player Atlanta needs to run out every day.
Markakis finished an injury shortened season hitting .285 with 62-runs batted in and 118 hits. That is production Atlanta will have a hard time replacing at the price they had Markakis for this season.
His $6-million dollar team option is a consideration when you look at all the other holes Atlanta has to fill. If they spend on third base and starting pitching as expected Atlanta must save elsewhere.
That is going to be in the outfield where they must find an in-house option or a platoon system. Markakis at this point in his career is the perfect platoon option for Atlanta. Getting a player like Yasiel Puig or another right-handed outfielder with an upside to pair with Markakis should be the off-season plan.
What Nick brings to this team and franchise is a lot more than simply what shows up in the box score. Losing his leadership and clubhouse presence would hurt this team a lot more than many fans realize.
If they decide to use the club option it will be for this reason along with his consistent production. He doesn’t have power or the arm he once did in right field but he is still an above average player who would be a great fit on this Braves roster.
Bringing back Markakis is the move for Atlanta if they want to continue to contend. They will need the leadership and depth Nick brings to this team.