Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Braves have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says the deal is for $44 million.
Markakis has a lot of name recognition and he put together a few nice seasons with the Orioles, but the 31-year-old owns a troubling .274/.335/.371 batting line in 1,410 plate appearances since the beginning of the 2013 campaign. He won the 2014 American League Gold Glove Award for right field, but his defensive metrics are far from sparkling.
What exactly are the Braves doing?
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.