Baltimore declined its $17.5 million option on Nick Markakis for 2015, making him a free agent after nine seasons with the Orioles, but now Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the two sides are close to a four-year deal for him to return.
Sherman says it’ll likely be for around $44 million, which would be three years and $26.5 million than his option.
As a top-10 draft pick and stud prospect who had some big years early in his career Markakis looked like a long-term star, but now he’s 31 years old with a .435 career slugging percentage. Combined during the past three seasons he hit .279 with a .396 slugging percentage and .738 OPS. Markakis has a great defensive reputation, including a pair of Gold Glove awards, but the numbers do not view him as especially strong in the field.
Then again, $11 million per season is probably pretty close to the going rate for a good but not great corner outfielder and this deal runs through his age-34 season.