In light of trying to get a general news round-up done for later today since things seem to be kind of slow at my desk right now. I don't know if I was so much surprised by reading this, but it did raise my eyebrows a bit...
From the Baltimore Sun: Nick Markakis acknowledged that his agent, Jamie Murphy, has been talking "back and forth" with MacPhail about a contract extension on his behalf. However, Markakis, the team's star right fielder, who is eligible for arbitration this offseason, said the two sides have taken only "baby steps."Well, like I have said before, the Orioles are under no obligation offer Nick Markakis a contract for the sake of offering him one. If the organization cares to, they can keep giving him one year deals and going through arbitration until he hits free agency.
"It's real slow right now," Markakis said. "It's been a slow-moving process."
Asked whether he would like the negotiations to move faster, Markakis said: "It doesn't matter to me whether it's done fast or slow. I just want it done right."
MacPhail backed Markakis' assessment, saying: "I would say we're still in the opening stages. It's one of those things where if the two parties are motivated to do something, you generally find a common ground. We'll see. We're still talking in terms of length and duration. We haven't thrown any numbers around."
However, any baseball fan with a pulse knows that Markakis is the real deal after seeing him for the past three seasons. At this point, the Orioles have to take a risk, extend an olive branch and sign him long-term.
I've seen enough of him to deduce he's a solid -- if not impressive -- major leaguer. I always knew he was great talent -- however, I would not have considered him a leader of the team until recently and he's shown that he wants to be a part of the future in Baltimore.
He's a known entity -- and a good one -- it's time to keep him in a Baltimore uniform.
I'll tell you one thing -- if he were in Boston, Los Angeles, New York or Chicago -- he'd be a God and get the attention youngsters like Dustin Pedoria receive nationally.
We all know that MacPhail likes to move deliberately and take all things into consideration. Obviously, he works for the Orioles and not so much the fan base -- however, if the team wants to keep the fan base convinced that brighter days are ahead, Markakis at some point this winter should be given a long term deal.