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Orioles consider Melky Cabrera a 'fallback option'

If talks with Nick Markakis fizzle out, Baltimore could pursue Cabrera.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles seem intent on bringing back outfielder Nick Markakis, but if talks fall through, they could turn their attention to Melky Cabrera, who the club deems as a "fallback option", according to Roch Kubatko of

The Orioles have been said to be heavily interested in bringing back Markakis, and were supposedly close to a four-year deal earlier this offseason. However, talks have made little progress in recent weeks, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal characterizes the talks as "inching along."

The 30-year-old Cabrera would figure to be a more costly option than Markakis. Cabrera seems to be in line for a deal north of $60 million, and he would also cost the Orioles their first round draft pick were they to sign him.

Of course, Cabrera has been quite a solid player in recent years, posting WAR totals of at least 3.0 in three of the past four seasons. He is coming off a two-year, $16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he suffered through an injury-riddled 2013 season before returning to form this year. In 621 plate appearances this season, he hit .301/.351/.458 with a 125 wRC+, 54 extra-base hits, and 3.1 WAR. He has hit a combined .309/.351/.458 since the start of the 2011 season.

The Royals, White Sox, and Mariners have also said to be interested in acquiring Cabrera.