In the offseason preceding the 2015 campaign, the Braves signed Nick Markakis to a 4-year, $44 million contract. It was a head-scratcher of a move at the time, since it didn't really make a ton sense for a team in rebuilding mode to commit that many years and those many dollars to a player who was about to reach what is typically the age at which most players begin to regress.
However, the one caveat was that if Markakis performed well enough, he could be used as a potential trade asset, and conventional wisdom would have you believe that there's a good chance that Markakis will finish this particular contract in another uniform. While Markakis definitely hasn't set the world on fire during his time in Atlanta, his name is starting to show up in trade rumors. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Royals and Phillies are interested in the 32-year old right fielder.
Teams such as the Royals and Phillies are also looking at Atlanta’s Nick Markakis, though the money is an issue there, especially with the Royals.
That nugget of information was buried in a section that was focused on Jay Bruce, but it's still very interesting for us to look at. The Royals don't exactly have a farm system that's flush with talent at the moment (it's currently ranked #21 in Baseball America's Organization Talent rankings), so any prospects that come from that system wouldn't be as heralded or promising as the ones that the Braves received from systems that were flush with talent when they made those particular acquisitions. Plus, as Cafardo noted, money could be a tripping point for the Royals, and as needy as they are for right field talent, I don't think that they'd be especially willing to take on Markakis' contract unless they reach a point of complete and utter desperation on that front.
Meanwhile, it's interesting to see that not only does a divisional rival has their eyes on Markakis, but that it's the Phillies as well. Granted, they are in serious need of a right fielder -- David Lough and Peter Bourjos have combined to slash .203/.262/.291 with 46 wRC+ and an ISO of .087. But, would they be willing to take on Nick Markakis' contract and possibly part with a decent prospect from their now-good farm system in exchange for a right fielder who's producing at that same level? Markakis' is slashing better (.252/.362/.348), but his wRC+ and ISO numbers (98 and .097, respectively) are on par with what they already have, and his defense wouldn't be a marked improvement over what they have.
So, when taking in Markakis' overall performance this season (0.0 fWAR) and the situation that the teams involved are in, I doubt that we'll see these teams link together for serious negotiations. However, we've seen stranger things happen, so this is something to keep your eyes and ears on as the season progresses.