11:55am: Orioles executive VP/GM Dan Duquette tells MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli that Baltimore is still very much in the mix for Markakis (Twitter link). “Rumors of our demise are largely exaggerated,” he tells Ghiroli.
10:56am: On the heels of last night’s report that Nick Markakis is no longer likely to re-sign with the Orioles, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Braves, Blue Jays and Giants are among the teams that have shown interest in signing Markakis. Heyman notes that the Orioles, of course, will continue to try to re-sign their long-time right fielder.
As Heyman notes, Markakis is a Georgia native that grew up in the Atlanta area, attended college just two hours or so from Atlanta and has a home in that area. With the Braves trading Jason Heyward and listening on Justin Upton, it does seem like Atlanta could eventually have a fit in its outfield. The Blue Jays, Heyman writes, have been “lurking” for awhile and will look to add at least one outfielder, while the Giants’ interest may hinge on the outcome of their pursuit of Jon Lester.
Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 with 14 homers last season and was said at one point to be nearing a four-year deal with Baltimore. However, last night’s report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly indicated that the O’s may not be comfortable with the four-year term of that potential contract. I profiled Markakis back in mid-October and pegged him for a four-year, $48MM pact, and it seems that his camp will now field offers from other clubs as it seeks to lock in that fourth guaranteed year. From a speculative standpoint, I’d think that the Tigers, Royals, Mariners, White Sox and Reds are also fits (though not all can necessarily afford to meet Markakis’ asking price).