Some news from around the NL East…
- The Braves know they’ll have to eat most of Matt Kemp’s remaining salary to facilitate a trade this winter, though the team is less willing to kick in money in a potential Nick Markakis deal, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman writes. Markakis is set to earn $10.5MM in 2018 (the last year of his contract), which the Braves see as “fair value” for the veteran outfielder, so they aren’t likely to cover “much or any” of that salary. Of course, Atlanta’s stance could change depending on what another team is willing to offer for Markakis. Over three seasons with the Braves, Markakis has 3.4 fWAR and is hitting .276/.357/.390 with eight homers over 616 PA in 2017. Earlier today on MLBTR, Connor Byrne listed the Braves’ corner outfield situation as one of the Three Needs the club must address this winter.
- It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ichiro Suzuki back with the Marlins next season given the respect Derek Jeter has for his former teammate, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Suzuki, who turns 44 in October, has indicated that he intends to play in 2018. The veteran has a .260/.325/.345 slash line over 195 PA for the Fish this season while providing backup at all three outfield spots.
- Also from Jackson’s piece, he hears from an investor connected to the Jeter/Bruce Sherman ownership group that there was discussion earlier this summer about the possibility of Casey Close, Jeter’s longtime agent, joining the Marlins front office. It isn’t known if this idea is still being considered, or if Close even has interest in a career change. Jackson speculates that Close could oversee the Marlins’ business operations, while Jeter handles the baseball ops department. Close currently heads Excel Sports Management’s baseball division, and it would send some major ripples through the agent world if he did depart for a new job given the number of players (including some of the game’s biggest names) represented by Excel.