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 MASNsports.com.
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.