“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.

Giancarlo Stanton to make return from IL this week

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Per The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said outfielder Giancarlo Stanton may be activated from the injured list on Wednesday. Stanton will “certainly” be activated on Thursday.

Stanton, 29, has appeared in all of nine games this season due to knee and calf injuries. The calf injury struck first during the opening week of the season. He wouldn’t return until June 18, then played in a whopping six games before a strained PCL in his right knee sent him back on the IL. But if there was ever a time for Stanton to make his triumphant return, it’s right before what the Yankees hope is a deep postseason run.

In the nine games Stanton has appeared in this season, spanning 38 trips to the plate, he has hit .290/.421/.419 with a double, a homer, seven RBI, and four runs scored.