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Why Nick Markakis makes sense for the Braves

Update: The Braves have announced that they’ve agreed to terms with Nick Markakis on a four year deal, that could range around $45 million.

The Atlanta Braves are extremely interested in Nick Markakis, and it’s not just because he’s a Georgia native either. There have been reports of negotiations intensifying, with a deal in the 4-year $45 million range.

I think that range is a little too much for a 31-year old player, but Markakis would provide the Braves with consistency and great defense for a lower price than Jason Heyward. Heyward got traded from the Braves to the Cardinals last month. I think the Braves should go two years on Markakis, just based on their past experiences with veteran players. Maybe Markakis would give the Braves a hometown discount.

Heyward stats since 2012:

Year G AB BA OBP R H 2B HR RBI SO BB
2012 158 587 .269 .335 93 158 30 27 82 152 58
2013 104 382 .254 .349 67 97 22 14 38 73 48
2014 149 573 .271 .351 74 155 26 11 58 98 67

Markakis stats since 2012:

Year G AB BA OBP R H 2B HR RBI SO BB
2012 104 420 .298 .363 59 125 28 13 54 51 42
2013 160 634 .271 .329 89 172 24 10 59 76 55
2014 155 642 .276 .342 81 177 27 14 50 84 62

If you look at the stats there almost comparable, but with Heyward getting insanely expensive after the 2015 season and Markakis being relatively cheap for his production. I’ve read a lot of people saying that Markakis has declined every season, but I don’t see it. I see consistency over his whole career, never hitting under .271. I think most of the negativity is because people are still ticked the Braves traded Heyward, which is understandable. I didn’t like how the trade went down, but Atlanta will be better in the long run without having to deal with a ridiculous contract.

Nick Markakis is also a two-time gold glove winning right fielder, so Atlanta won’t lose that reliability on their right fielder that they’ve become accustom too. Yeah, I know that Markakis won’t cover the same ground that Heyward once did, but he will bring something the Braves have lost, the ability to hit for average.

Markakis doesn’t have great power, but who needs it when you have Justin Upton or Evan Gattis (whichever one is still there) and Freddie Freeman batting behind you. Another plus about Markakis is he doesn’t strike out very often, and he hasn’t struck out over 100 times in a season since 2008.

Markakis will also bring leadership to the youngest team in the majors, something the Braves didn’t have last year.

Overall I love the direction the Braves are heading in, they’ve got a young talented rotation, the best defensive shortstop in the game, and an MVP type player in Freddie Freeman.

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