With every off-season, there arises plenty of rumours as to which players the Blue Jays are looking to acquire via free agency or trades. Some of these rumours are legitimate and actually make sense (e.g. Lorenzo Cain), whereas some of them (e.g. Jake Arrieta) are just plain bonkers.
A lot of people think (probably everyone actually) that the Blue Jays need to get younger. They also need to get a whole lot better, and a player like Nick Markakis would be able to help in that regard. Even though Markakis just turned 34 two weeks ago, he can still play, and brings many strengths (e.g. hits for AVG, gets on base, solid defensive outfielder) that the Blue Jays are in serious need of.
Plenty of Blue Jay fans out there (myself included) have high hopes for the young Teoscar Hernandez. But to expect him to replace a legend like Jose Bautista in right field is asking a lot for someone with just 68 games of big league experience. Hernandez deserves to be playing with the Blue Jays at the beginning of next season, but start him in left field or have him platoon with Ezequiel Carrera or Steve Pearce where he can be brought in gradually and not thrown straight into the fire.
I like Carrera and Pearce, but they shouldn’t be starting in the big leagues. What Toronto needs is an infusion of talent in the outfield, which is something Markakis certainly brings. He’s a 2-time gold glove winner (2011, 2014), has a lifetime .288 AVG, and is one of the best players ever who hasn’t played in an all-star game.
With everything that’s happened with the Braves of late. Having lost 13 prospects because of their disregard for the international signing rules, one has to imagine Atlanta and their new GM, Alex Anthopoulos will be desperate to re-stock their farm system. On account of his age and $11-million salary (1-year remaining), the asking price for Markakis shouldn’t be too outrageous. If it means the Blue Jays have to part with a couple of mid-level prospects in order to get a deal done for Markakis, it’s something they definitely need to consider.