Markakis return to O’s becoming more unlikely
Though it seemed to be all but certain that Nick Markakis would re-sign with the Orioles when the season ended, there is now “less than a 50-50 chance” that still happens, according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
It was obvious that talks had stalled a bit when the sides seemed to be on the verge of a deal last month before ultimately failing to reach an official agreement. It’s not clear what exactly the sticking points are right now, but it’s becoming more likely that Markakis signs elsewhere with each day that passes.
This report comes just one day after the O’s learned that fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz will be leaving to sign with the Mariners. Coupled with a possible Markakis departure, that would potentially open up two outfield positions — and two crucial spots in the batting order — in Baltimore.
The Orioles have been linked to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp in recent days and those trade talks would likely heat up even further if the O’s suddenly find themselves without both Cruz and Markakis.
To be clear, the door is not yet closed on Markakis re-signing with the O’s, but the odds of a return are certainly trending in the wrong direction. If Markakis decides to listen to offers from other teams, he would instantly become one of the top available outfielders on a thin free agent market.
— Paul Casella