Take this for what is it worth right now...
From the Baltimore Sun: Both club president Andy MacPhail and Markakis' agent, Jamie Murphy, confirmed that the sides exchanged proposals last week for the first time this offseason and that after several discussions, an agreement could not be reached.As a fan, I'm a little concerned that he hasn't been signed by now; however, Nick Markakis is holding back on extending with the team at the moment to see what deals are consummated with the free agents out there before he works on his own.
Stopping short of calling it an impasse, Murphy said Markakis has decided to observe what happens with baseball's current free-agent class before negotiating again. Murphy said he expects talks to pick up in late January when the sides exchange filings for salary arbitration.
"In many respects the talks have been productive, but we've reached a point where we felt it would be beneficial to see how the market develops," Murphy said. "From our point of view, we expect to revisit these discussions. We felt that taking some time and seeing how the market shapes up may help us along in finding some common ground. And Andy agreed."
It may serve to be a smart business move on his part, as he tries to come back with a counter offer for the team in the near future; meanwhile, the Orioles can also formulate a deal of their own.
I don't think this is a big deal, as he's heading into his fourth season with the team. He's got another full three seasons to play before he becomes a free agent, and neither side is obligated to come up with a long term deal at this time.
The only problem with Markakis holding back on the deal is with the economy and how long this recession lasts. If it goes well into next season and longer, his value may not be as high it could have been in the past -- however, that's the risk you take. As well, though not likely -- his numbers could decline or he could get hurt -- nevertheless, he's in for likely a huge pay day no matter how you slice it.