The 12-31 Braves are destined to be deadline sellers, and appear to be drawing early interest in one of their veterans. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, both the Royals and Phillies have trade interest in Braves outfielder Nick Markakis, who is expected to be moved by the non-waiver trade deadline.
Cafardo notes that Markakis' salary will likely be an obstacle in trade talks for the Braves, as the right fielder is under team control through the 2018 season and is owed more than $28 million in that time. Both Kansas City and Philadelphia are working with some payroll constraints, potentially causing them to look elsewhere in their quest for outfield help.
Both the Royals and Phillies will look for outfield upgrades before August 1, with Kansas City looking to replace Jarrod Dyson and the Phillies trying to upgrade from their offensively inept starter, Peter Bourjos. Kansas City is also reportedly showing interest in Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, who is another likely candidate to be dealt.
Markakis, 32, has hit .252/.362/.348 with only one home run in 41 games for Atlanta this season. He has hit only four homers over the last two seasons as a Brave despite averaging more than 15 per year during his 9-year stint with the Orioles.