We just officially lost our longest-tenured Oriole, right fielder Nick Markakis, to the Atlanta Braves. Reportedly, he signed a $44 million, four-year contract. The Orioles’ offer was just $4 million shy.
Hitting is down in baseball, so free agent bats — e.g., Nelson Cruz! — have been getting snatched up pretty aggressively this off-season, while many of the best free agent pitchers haven’t yet been signed. (But that doesn’t mean we’re keeping left-handed reliever Andrew Miller — we are “not among the finalists to re-sign” him.)
Why would the Orioles let him go? According to “major-league sources,” the team was concerned about a 2013 herniated disk diagnosis. Which, by the way, certainly didn’t add up to much of anything these past two seasons, during which he played almost every game.
Markakis’s fellow outfielder — and teammate since 2008 — Adam Jones had this reaction on Twitter:
U don’t want my opinion!!!!!!!!
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) December 3, 2014
I think that says it all.
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