Braves reportedly pushing hard for Markakis

Could the Braves replace Jason Heyward in right field with another Georgia boy?

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports the Braves have met with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis and are making a real push to sign the former Orioles star.

Connolly reports a contingent led by manager Fredi Gonzalez had dinner with Markakis Monday night. He believes the Braves may be the biggest suitor for Markakis, along with his former team.

If Markakis signs, he would replace Jason Heyward in right field. Heyward was traded to the Cardinals two weeks ago for Shelby Miller. Markakis would probably cost less than what Heyward was going to look for next year on the free agent market.

Markakis is a career .290 hitter and has a .358 lifetime on base percentage. His power has slipped since his career high of 23 in 2007. He's averaged only 13.6 home runs per season in the last six years.

Markakis, a left-handed hitter, does not strike out much and his average has never been lower than .271, so he would be a different type of hitter in the Atlanta lineup compared to the free swingers that have been in the outfield the last two years.

The Braves are shopping Justin Upton and B.J. Upton, so the outfield could look significant different next season.

Markakis played high school ball in Woodstock, Georgia and his college time was at Young Harris College in the north Georgia mountains.

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