I expected more players to opt out this week. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear that Nick Markakis is opting back in.
David O’Brien of The Athletic reports that Markakis is rejoining the Braves, three weeks after he opted out. In so doing he becomes the first of the 14 major-league players who have so far opted-out to change his mind. “Markakis felt as if he had let the team down, particularly as he watched the Braves on TV during their opening 2-3 road trip,” O’Brien writes.
That contrasts with his comments back on July 6, when he opted out. In announcing his decision then Markakis said, “with everything that’s going on not just in baseball but in the world, it makes you open your eyes. I’ve got three kids that I’ve missed for 11 years now.” It was also reported at the time that the fact that teammate Freddie Freeman fell ill with COVID-19 shook Markakis. Freeman has since recovered and is playing. No doubt that has impacted his decision as well.
Markakis, a 14-year big league veteran who turned 36 this past offseason, hit .285/.356/.420 with nine homers and 62 RBI over 116 games in 2019. He’s under contract for $4 million in 2020, which was to be prorated to 60 games. Which now, I suppose, it’ll be further prorated.
Either way, Nick Markakis is opting back in. What a week this has been.