I’m not always the best judge of these things, but Nick Markakis’ new deal seems to be pretty decent for both sides:
The Orioles have reached a six-year, $66.1 million contract extension with right fielder Nick Markakis, according to baseball sources. He will be in Baltimore on Wednesday to take a physical and sign the contract.
The deal, pending the physical, will keep one of the organization’s building blocks with the Orioles through at least the 2014 season. It will include standard incentive clauses, a limited no-trade clause — in which he can block a deal to at least eight teams each year — and a mutual option with an unspecified team buyout for the 2015 season, according to sources.
In terms of guaranteed money, it will be the second-most expensive contract in Orioles history, behind only the six-year, $72 million pact given to shortstop Miguel Tejada in December 2003.
Well, it certainly beats the Tejada deal.
Markakis is an outstanding young player with fabulous plate discipline and at age 24, we can probably expect his power to increase. You have to figure that he would have made something like $6-10 million a year in his arbitration-eligible seasons, so the Orioles, as all teams making this kind of deal, are paying a premium for what will likely be his most productive seasons. The key then, is to look at the free agency years they’ve purchased. If my arbitration assumptions are anywhere close (and if my cocktail napkin math is roughly accurate), that puts Markakis at something like $13-15 million a year for those years. Given that he’ll still be in his 20s for most of that time, that he has a great eye, and that he’s not a fatty, that probably makes for a nice discount for his services on the back-end.
So good on Baltimore for making this deal, and good on Markakis for getting rich. There’s still a long way to go in Baltimore, but dadgummit, they might actually look pretty darn good here in the next couple of years.