Atlanta Braves: Nick Markakis opts out after talking to Freddie Freeman

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 15: Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves warms up before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 15: Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves warms up before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves cites a conversation with Freddie Freeman as his main reason for opting out of the 2020 season.

Just one day after it was reported that Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had tested positive for COVID-19, teammate Nick Markakis has decided to do so as well. In a statement today, Markakis said, “I think the biggest thing is I talked to Freeman, and just hearing the way he sounded on the phone just opened my eyes.”

Yesterday, Freeman’s wife, Chelsea revealed via social media that her husband’s symptoms were really bad. Now, Markakis’s decision and his words put Freeman’s condition in more context.

More from Call to the Pen

Markakis joined the Braves back in 2015 and has become a fan-favorite. Since then, the Braves have gone from rock-bottom in the NL East to first place and one of the more dangerous teams in all of baseball.

Before the start of the 2020 MLB season, Markakis had signed a 1-year deal worth $4M with the Braves. This being his age-36 season, it is possible that we’ve seen the last of him, at least in Atlanta.

Nick Markakis broke out as a start as a member of the Baltimore Orioles back in 2006. Since then, he has established himself as a phenomenal contact hitter with doubles power and a plus defensively.

Since 2010, according to Alex Fast associate producer at MLB and VP at PitcherList, Markakis has the second most hits in MLB with 1651. He trails only Robinson Cano who has 1695 hits.

Thankfully, Markakis’s decision to opt-out won’t negatively impact the Atlanta Braves too much.  This offseason, the Braves signed slugger Marcell Ozuna to a 1-year deal with $18M.

Next. MLB teams experience COVID-testing complications. dark

Initial thoughts were for Ozuna to be the DH. Now, he’ll simply have to play the field, while Adam Duvall slots in as the DH.