Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles recently discussed a contract extension with right fielder Nick Markakis. However, talks have already reached a standstill and will wait until after the season.
Markakis will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after the season. He’s earning $455K this year, so his ’09 salary should increase at least tenfold. Zrebiec says the O’s wanted to buy out Markakis’ three arbitration years, at the least.
Zrebiec speculates that Markakis’ contract could fall somewhere between those of Alex Rios and Hanley Ramirez. Rios is an odd case since he was a Super Two player. He will receive about $16.3MM for his last three arb years and then $12.25MM annually covering four free agent years. Ramirez gave up his three arb years for $23.5MM and then three free agent years at an average of $15.5MM.
Splitting the difference, the Orioles could offer Markakis a six-year, $62MM extension.