“Less than a 50-50 chance” that Nick Markakis returns to the Orioles

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that Nick Markakis returning to the Orioles is no longer a foregone conclusion and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun now hears that there’s “less than a 50-50 chance” that the two sides will work out a new deal.

This is quite a shift from what we heard about a month ago, as the Orioles and Markakis were having serious discussions about a four-year deal worth between $10-12 million per season. However, Connolly hears there “have only been a few conversations since then.” No word on the exact reason for the change, but word is that the Orioles are hesitant to commit four years to Markakis.

With Nelson Cruz off the board, the Orioles’ alternatives to Markakis in the free agent market include the likes of Melky Cabrera, Alex Rios, Colby Rasmus, Torii Hunter, Nori Aoki, and Mike Morse. The club has also reportedly discussed a Matt Kemp trade with the Dodgers.

Markakis, 31, batted .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI over 155 games this past season. He has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles.

Cody Bellinger wins 2019 National League Most Valuable Player Award

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Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was named the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Associated of America. He received 19 of 30 first-place votes.

Bellinger, 24, was the NL Rookie of the Year two years ago and is now the MVP. In 2019, he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 121 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. He helped the Dodgers win a franchise record 106 games, though they were stopped short in the NLDS by the eventual world champion Nationals.

Bellinger is the first Dodger to win the award since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. He also joins Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, Sandy Koufax, and Maury Wills to win the award since the team moved to Los Angeles. Bellinger is overall the 13th Dodger to be named the MVP. He is the 18th NL player to win both a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP award.

Christian Yelich finished in second place and Anthony Rendon finished in third place. They were followed by Ketel Marte, Ronald Acuña Jr., Nolan Arenado, and Pete Alonso. Also receiving votes were Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Jacob deGrom, Josh Donaldson, Trevor Story, Jack Flaherty, J.T. Realmuto, Yasmani Grandal, Max Muncy, Stephen Strasburg, Eugenio Suárez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Kevin Pillar, and Max Scherzer.