Braves sign Nick Markakis to four-year contract

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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?

Jorge Soler hits Royals’ first home run in nearly two weeks

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The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.

Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.

Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.