Goodbye, Old Friend

player after just hitting pitch during baseball game
GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

As I type this, the buzz around baseball is looking pretty bleak for Orioles fans.  Just take a quick glance at “Orioles Twitter” and you will know exactly what I mean.  ESPN’s Buster Olney has just recently reported that the Atlanta Braves are close to an agreement with Nick Markakis on a 4-yr/$45M deal.

We already watched Nelson Cruz leave Birdland to take a hefty 4-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, and it has been announced that the Orioles are not making an attempt to re-sign dominant left handed reliever Andrew Miller.

To an extent, it’s easier to say goodbye to guys like Cruz and Miller because neither of them spent more than a year with the team.  However, anytime you lose MLB’s reigning home run champion and arguably the best lefty reliever in baseball, there’s a cause for concern.

Markakis, on the other hand, has been a staple in this organization since 2006.  Ever since he homered for his first major league hit, he has been one of the most consistent all-around players in baseball.  Although the power never fully developed, his consistently high OBP and stellar defensive play have made him a fan favorite in Baltimore, and rightfully so.

[RELATED: 5 Options to Replace Cruz & Markakis]

If you’re reading this, Nick Markakis has joined a new team.

Baseball is a business.  Unfortunately, sometimes business takes precedent over loyalty.  It sucks losing someone who has meant so much to you for so long.  We experienced it with Brian Roberts last season, and now with Nick.  It’s okay to be upset, but it’s also important to be rational.

Markakis’ stats have seen a decline over the last couple years.  The unfortunate truth is that he simply isn’t worth as much money as he wanted from the Orioles.  From a baseball standpoint, I’m glad the O’s let him walk.  It is what’s best for the club.  Sure, I will miss him.  We all will.  But now some other team is giving him a new opportunity.

There is a reason Dan Duquette was voted MLB Executive of the Year.  He knows what he is doing.  It’s only the beginning of December.  Maybe the O’s will make a push to trade for Jay Bruce.  Maybe we will lure Michael Morse or Nori Aoki into signing.  Trade for Carlos Gonzalez?  Wishful thinking.

We have lots of depth in the outfield.  Steve Pearce, Alejandro De Aza, and David Lough are all ready for action.  Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia are waiting in the wings for their opportunities.

Don’t panic, Birdland.  Let’s be rational about this.

And good luck to you, Mr. Markakis.  Thanks for the memories.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Ryan Blake. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Blake

Ryan Blake
Ryan joined the Eutaw Street Report crew for the site's launch in 2013 having spent the 2012 season as a member of the Orioles' tarp crew. Before then, he had never really considered writing, but has grown to enjoy sharing his opinions and is now ESR's "Hot Take" artist. In...more

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