The Big Name
If the Angels are looking for a starter, Nick Markakis might be the guy. Would Bryce Harper hitting cleanup behind Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani look nice? It would bring me to tears…in a good way. However, Billy Eppler will not give Harper the money that Philadelphia or New York will. That being said, let’s turn our focus to Markakis.
The left-handed corner outfielder had a career year in 2018. The 34-year old slashed .297/.366/.440 and played in every game for the Atlanta Braves. He was an All Star for the first time in his career, and proved to be an essential veteran on the Baby Braves. He slugged well despite only hitting 14 home runs, and drove in 93 runs while operating primarily in the fourth spot.
It is also worth mentioning that this was not some one-time breakout year for Markakis. While he cooled down in the second half of the season, he is a career .288 hitter. He has been a model of consistency with double-digit home runs in 10 of his 12 seasons. When the Angels signed Zack Cozart after a breakout 2017 season, he showed regression in his limited action. So while Markakis might not hit .297 next year, he is a strong bet to have another good season.
If the Angels are looking for a starter at a relatively low price, Markakis will provide that left-handed hitting they have been craving for years, slightly above-average defense, and serve as a solid middle-of-the-lineup hitter for the Halos.