The Baltimore Orioles are in the ALCS, but Could Nick Markakis Become A Seattle Mariner?
The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals face off for the ALCS and a chance to make their first appearances in the World Series for more than two decades.
But just because these teams are in a position to win it all does not mean they have the resources to keep all the pieces they have in place this season.
One such piece is long time right fielder and left-handed hitter Nick Markakis. The Baltimore Orioles have a 2015 team option for Markakis. However, that option is for $17.5 million and the buyout is only $2 million for the O’s. Markakis has been a solid contributor to the Orioles organization for 9 seasons now, but they have a lot of holes to fill and may choose not to exercise the 2015 team option.
If that is the case, Nick Markakis is a guy the Mariners should look into to fill their outfield and offensive needs.
This past season, in 155 games, Nick Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs, 5o RBI, 27 doubles, 81 runs scored, 62 walks and 84 strikeouts. ESPN gives him a 2.1 WAR for the season. His .342 OBP this season would have been good enough for 3rd on the Seattle Mariners, behind Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.
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Both this year and last his offensive numbers have been down, but he still provides solid defense and a plus arm out in right field.
On November 17 Markakis will be turning 30. Though that would normally be a big downside to a free agent signing, I actually think the Mariners would do well to sign the veteran outfielder.
As of today, the 2015 season’s starting outfield for the Mariners would be: LF Dustin Ackley, CF Austin Jackson, and RF Michael Saunders. Of those three Ackley hasn’t put together a whole offensive season and is still learning to track balls in the outfield, Jackson had a miserable offensive season in Seattle, and Saunders has had too many injury-shortened seasons to be considered a viable full season option.
Nick Markakis could slot into right field on Opening Day, and also bat second in the lineup. That would provide both Cano and Seager an OBP guy ahead of them in the lineup, giving them more at-bats with RISP. Moreover, signing Markakis would give the Mariners an outfield anchor in right field, a position where they haven’t had much dependability in quite some time.
What would it take to sign a free agent Nick Markakis? I think a 3-year/$39 million deal or a 2-year/$29 million deal would be able to get it done.
What are your thoughts on signing a guy like Nick Markakis? Even though he doesn’t fill the ‘right-handed power bat’ category, he could provide quality depth to the Mariners roster.