It seems the Braves will be busy leading up to the trade deadline next week. While there are a handful of players who could be moved, Nick Markakis won't be one of them, according to a report from MLB's Mark Bowman.
Here's what Bowman wrote in today's column:
The Braves have received some calls about right fielder Nick Markakis, but they have made it clear he is not available. Markakis signed a four-year deal in December.
Markakis, 31, is hitting .289/.373/.364 in his first season with the Braves.
The Braves would gain nothing by suggesting Markakis is available for trade, so the quick denial isn't really a surprise. Signing a respected veteran like Markakis and then kicking him out of town eight months later would not be a good look for the front office. There are long-term implications that come with that.
At the same time, it makes sense to eventually get rid of Markakis if the Braves are truly focused on 2017 and beyond. Markakis is on pace to be a two-win player this year, and he doesn't have Father Time on his side. I never thought his contract would be the albatross some others did, and while he will likely be worth his $11 million salary the next few seasons, it could hold Atlanta back by 2017 and 2018.
Bowman also had these notes on Julio Teheran and Cameron Maybin:
There is still a chance Maybin or Teheran could be dealt. But it seems more likely that Atlanta will wait until the offseason to determine whether to keep either of these players or use at least one to gain a power bat -- an asset that would be easier to obtain when more teams are in the mix this winter.
Here's more on the Teheran rumors.
Only eight days to go...