It's obvious the Orioles are going to pony up and pay Markakis at some point. But the lack of urgency to lock him up right now (and engender some good will) seems to have no real benefit and it could potentially end up annoying Markakis as he watches his peers (like Evan Longoria) have their pre-arbitration years and arbitration years quickly bought out so they can be rewarded with long-term stability.
While it's true that the Orioles have plenty of leverage right now, the longer the team waits, the more valuable Markakis becomes. Literally, each day that passes is a day his value goes up. Maybe it's by $100, maybe it's $100,000, but the point is, he isn't getting less expensive the longer you wait. This is a stock that's only going to climb in value over the next 10 years. The fact that the two sides say negotiations are moving very slowly suggests, to me, that they are light years apart and that the Orioles haven't yet decided to get realistic about Markakis' value. When Tampa Bay locked in Longoria for six years at $17 million plus a number of option years even though he'd only played six major league games, it suddenly became the smartest deal in baseball.
Amen. I get that Andy likes to take his time, but for once, couldn't we send the right signal and show a marquee player that he is wanted?