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?
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.