Newly signed Brave Nick Markakis needs neck surgery
The nine-year veteran is expected to be ready for spring training.
Markakis is expected to need eight weeks of rest before resuming baseball activities, and the 31-year-old hopes to be ready for all of spring training.
It’s not the best way for the outfielder’s tenure in Atlanta to begin. Markakis signed a four-year, $45 million contract with the Braves in early December after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Orioles. Just after signing, Markakis announced he would undergo surgery for a herniated disk that has been causing him neck pain since last March.
In 2014 with Baltimore, Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs, playing in at least 155 games for the seventh time in his nine-year career. Markakis has always paired strong contact skills with solid on-base ability, but his power has dwindled ever since the beginning of his career, and he hasn’t reached 15 home runs since 2011.
The Braves knew of Markakis’ injury prior to signing him and are hoping the surgery will help improve his power. Since the start of 2013, his slugging percentage sits at just .371.
Markakis will be part of a new-look Braves outfield in 2015, which could change even further if Atlanta ends up trading Justin Upton. The club’s new regime signed Markakis with the hope he’d be a crucial part of a fresh start for the organization.