Number 2: Nick Markakis- Outfielder
Aug 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis (21) singles in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Age: 30; Bats/Throws: Left/Left; 2014 Numbers: .276 batting average, 14 HR, 50 RBI
After nine seasons of consistent play with the Baltimore Orioles, Nick Markakis will hit the free agent market for the first time in his career. The Orioles have chosen not to pick up the 30-year old’s $17.5 million dollar option for the 2015 season.
Throughout his career the fan favorite averaged 152 games per season and owns a lifetime .290 batting average. He’s known for his leadership, team oriented play and more than steady defense. The Orioles may resign him but I’m sure if it came down between him and the Major League leader in home runs, Nelson Cruz I find it hard to believe they’d chose Markakis.
The Padres need a right fielder even if it’s just as a stop gap to let the younger players like Rymer Liriano develop further. Markakis, a gap to gap hitter, would fit extremely well with the Padres and would help to lead the young team as they continue their quest to return to contention.
Like the aforementioned Melky Cabrera Markakis is table setter and top of the order bat. He would slot right into the two hole in the lineup but is no stranger to leading off or batting third. Markakis is number two on this list because while he provides the Padres with everything they need he isn’t the type of player that the man ahead of him could one day turn out out to be.