Nick Markakis is “leaning toward” having neck surgery

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Well, this helps explain why the Orioles backed away from re-signing Nick Markakis before he wound up going to the Braves for four years and $44 million.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Markakis is “leaning toward” undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck that would carry an expected 12-week recovery timetable.

Atlanta and Baltimore were both aware of the possibility he’d need surgery and perhaps the Orioles were particularly worried about his health after seeing Markakis on a day-to-day basis for nearly a decade.