Markakis went 2-for-2 with a walk and a solo home run in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees. Hitting fifth behind Ender Inciarte, Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna -- his probable spot in the regular season -- Markakis took Masahiro Tanaka deep in the fourth inning for his first long ball of the spring. The veteran outfielder got a bit of a late start to camp but has been raking ever since, and now boasts a .450/.522/.650 slash line through 20 at-bats. With that quartet of good-to-excellent hitters stationed in front of him, Markakis seems poised for another big year as a run producer.
Markakis went 1-for-2 as the DH in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. Seeing his first game action of the spring, Markakis hit fifth -- a spot he could occupy frequently during the regular season with Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte, Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman likely filling the top four spots in the order. That's a lot of on-base potential ahead of the 35-year-old, so while last year's 93 RBI might seem like an outlier -- it was his highest total since 2009 -- don't be surprised if Markakis is productive once again at a bargain price in fantasy drafts.
Markakis signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Braves on Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The deal includes a $6 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for 2020. Markakis will return to Atlanta after enjoying a career year with the Braves in 2018. The 35-year-old played in all 162 games last season, hitting .297/.366/.440 with 14 homers and 93 RBI while earning his first All-Star selection. Look for Markakis to reclaim his role as the team's starting left fielder, pushing Adam Duvall to a fourth outfielder role.
The Braves will not extend a $17.9 million qualifying offer to Markakis on Friday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Markakis will officially become a free agent after a tremendous season in 2018. He wound up slashing .297/.366/.440 with 14 home runs and 93 RBI in his fourth year in the Atlanta organization. Though Markakis will never be mistaken for a power hitter, he continues to own the strike zone (10.4 percent walk rate) and was able to cut back on his strikeouts (from 16.4 percent in 2017 to 11.3 this past year) to earn his first All-Star berth this past summer.
Markakis went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Nationals. Markakis handed the Braves an early one-run lead by launching a solo homer in the first inning. He's put together a modest five-game hitting streak, going 11-for-21 with two home runs and three RBI over that span. The 34-year-old lefty is batting .323 with 48 extra-base hits and 70 RBI through 112 games in 2018.
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