KC Royals: Why Trading For Nick Markakis Makes Sense

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Apr 10, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) reacts after being called out on strikes by umpire Mark Wegner (14) against the St. Louis Cardinals during the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) reacts after being called out on strikes by umpire Mark Wegner (14) against the St. Louis Cardinals during the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 10, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) reacts with team mates in the dugout after scoring against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) reacts with team mates in the dugout after scoring against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

4) NICK MARKAKIS HAS A REASONABLE CONTRACT

Markakis is signed through 2018 (his age 34 season) at $11 million per year. Though that sounds like a lot of money to us common folk, it’s pretty reasonable in today’s major-league baseball. With open-market prices running around $8 million per WAR, Markakis only has to produce about 1.3 WAR per season  to provide value.

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Though owner David Glass might not want to eat another $9.5 million or so in pro-rated salary when the team payroll is a record $132 million, the KC Royals might persuade the Braves to take back a contract like Omar Infante as a salary dump. Since Infante is signed through 2017 at $8 million per season, the Royals would be on the hook for another $3 million or so, while the Braves would gain around $17 million in future salary relief.

That would clear up second base for Christian Colon, who appear more productive than Omar Infante right now. I doubt he’d be any worse.

While the KC Royals might not want to be on the hook for the $22 million remaining on Markakis contract after the 2016 season, at $11 million he should be easy to deal presuming his production doesn’t crash at the end of this season.

That way, the Kansas City Royals would have their right field stop-gap until players like Jorge Bonifacio and Bubba Starling prove they are ready for major league jobs.

Of course the counter-argument is that Bonifacio and Brett Eibner are ready for major-league jobs right now, and that a Nick Markakis trade would just be wasting resources. However, Markakis should come relatively cheap and gives the team known production.

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In the end, the KC Royals scouts will have to make the call. They have better data on Bonifacio, Eibner, and Markakis than any outside analyst.

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