Os, Markakis in talks

BALTIMORE— It would be tough to imagine Nick Markakis not in an Orioles uniform next season. And after Thursday’s latest batch of rumors, it’s looking more and more like that’s a scenario the O’s won’t have to worry about.

Markakis, a free agent for the first time in his career, has made it no secret he wants to remain in Baltimore and talks between his agent Jamie Murphy and the Orioles have picked back up according to multiple outlets. The Orioles immediately started negotiations with Markakis following their season, which ended in the American League Championship Series, and it appeared both sides were on the same page in working towards a new long-term deal. But the negotiations have taken longer than expected in working toward a four-year deal that would keep the veteran an Oriole through 2018.

On Thursday, CBSSports.com reported that the two sides rekindled on Wednesday and it looks like a deal could be reached fairly soon.

The 31-year-old Markakis is coming off a Gold Glove winning season and is a quiet leader in the Orioles clubhouse, taking over leadoff duties and priding himself on his durability in right field. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has said that re-signing Markakis wouldn’t automatically take the club out of the running on one of their other major free agents, Nelson Cruz, as Baltimore is preparing to increase its payroll from this past season.

–Brittany Ghiroli

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