Nick Markakis underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn rectus abdominus muscle and may not be ready for the beginning of spring training.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com notes that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missed six weeks after undergoing the same surgery and Markakis told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he won’t be cleared to do anything but walk for at least three weeks.
Connolly reports that the injury kept Markakis from doing any workouts this offseason, but when asked about his status for Opening Day the Orioles right fielder said: “I don’t think it’s an issue. It wont take me that long to get back in swing of things.”
If his recovery goes smoothly Markakis is probably right, but at the very least he figures to be behind schedule early in camp and may not be at 100 percent to begin the season even if he’s in the lineup.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.