The Atlanta Braves are bringing back outfielder Nick Markakis on a one-year deal worth $4 million according to a report by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Per the report, the Braves declined his $6 million option triggering a $2 million buyout and then re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $4 million.
The reason for the financial gymnastics is that the buyout money will go on their 2019 balance sheet with only the $4 million counting towards their 2020 payroll. This is identical to the situation earlier today with catcher Tyler Flowers.
Markakis was unable to recapture the magic from his 2018 season in 2019. He hit .285/.356/.420 with nine home runs and missed six weeks due to a fractured wrist. His outfield defense slipped as well by most metrics as he finished with just 0.4 fWAR on the season.
It remains to be seen what the Braves’ plans are for Markakis but a reduced role would seem to be the best bet. Markakis saw his production falter against left-handed pitching and would be a candidate to serve as a platoon candidate against right-handed pitching perhaps with Adam Duvall. At the least, it appears that topic has been covered initially.