2014 Statistics: .276/.342/.386, 14 HR, 50 RBI, .325 wOBA, 106 wRC+
2015 Age: 31
Position: Right fielder
The Yankees were an offensive nightmare in 2014, posting a horrific negative 31 team run differential. After missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the team can ill afford to make it three seasons. With the offseason underway, Cashman will be looking at upgrading every position on the roster. Having signed Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to multi-year deals and Chris Young to a one-year deal, there doesn’t appear to be any room in the Yankees outfield. Unfortunately, for Makakis, Brian Cashman confirmed this by stating that the team’s 2015 outfield is set, barring a surprise between now and spring training.
Markakis has been a lineup mainstay for Baltimore, playing in at least 100 games every year since 2006. Looking at the table below you get a quick snapshot as to what kind of offensive player that he is. Since 2010, he has been a consistent offensive producer, averaging 13 home runs, 59 runs batted in and triple slash line of .285/.351/.411. While he’s definitely not a power hitter, Markakis does provide on base skills to go along with a solid batting average. During that same time frame his overall WAR has ranged anywhere from replacement level to solid major league starter. Once again the biggest issue is Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury offer a very similar skill set.
Next I like to look at a players spray chart to see how a players hitting tendencies would fit in to a new home ballpark. Using the spray chart below, it’s obvious that Markakis is your typical left-handed batter, hitting 100 percent of his homers to right field in 2014. That in itself will always play well in Yankee Stadium as it features the short right field porch. The other thing that you’ll notice is that he uses the whole field quite well hitting the ball the opposite way often.
Defensively Nick Markakis won his second Gold Glove Award and the video below shows what kind of ability that he has possessed at times throughout his career. This year his defense by the metrics were much improved in comparison to his past few seasons, as his UZR/150 was 5.8 and his defensive runs saved graded out as league average. With the emphasis being placed on defense throughout the game, his inconsistencies are certainly a red flag.
At the end of the day, Markakis just isn’t a fit for the New York Yankees and although it’s possible, I’d be surprised if he left Baltimore. With Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran penciled in as the starters and Chris Young coming off of the bench, there isn’t room for another outfielder, especially with his skillset. This will most likely be his last big deal at the age of 31, but that contract will not be coming from the Yankees. The most realistic scenario has him going back to Camden Yards on a three or four-year deal.