Should Chicago White Sox Sign Free Agent Nick Markakis?

mckenzie7410
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The question has been lingering in the minds of many Chicago White Sox fans since the 2014 season ended. With the Baltimore Orioles officially declining Nick Markakis‘ 2015 club option on Thursday, answering that question has become a more pressing matter for the organization.  Should the White Sox sign newly minted free agent, Nick Markakis, this offseason?

A few weeks ago I explored the possibility of the White Sox signing Markakis to replace Dayan Viciedo in left field. Since that time, Markakis has added another gold glove nomination to his resume. Plays like the one below, are a big reason why.

Having three gold glove nominees on the field sure couldn’t hurt the White Sox pitching staff, as Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez garnered their own nominations this year.

Markakis’ .276 batting average in 2014 is nothing to sneeze at either. However, he may be losing some power as the years go by. His slugging percentage has dropped significantly the last four years- from .453 in 2010 to .386 in 2014. Brittany Ghiroli at MLB.com reported the outfielder broke a hamate bone in his right wrist in 2012, and his left thumb later in the season. He also suffered from a neck injury in 2013, according to Blaine Blontz at SBNation. Have those injuries contributed to a decrease in Markakis’ power?

It’s well known White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn, would like to add another left-handed bat to the lineup. The Sox are also in dire need of a defensive upgrade in left field. There are plenty of arguments to be made for and against signing the talented outfielder. Assuming you have to spend at least $18 million per year for the next four or five seasons to sign the free agent, is Nick Markakis the player you want to spend money on?

* Statistics provided by baseball-reference.com

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