Chicago Cubs: Four outfield candidates to replace Kyle Schwarber

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Chicago Cubs / Nick Markakis
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Chicago Cubs: Cheap, veteran bat has upside

Nick Markakis is another contact-heavy guy who could be on Chicago’s radar in the event the Cubs need outfield help.

Markakis’ season got off to a red-hot start. After initially declaring his intention to sit out the 2020 campaign due to health concerns regarding COVID-19, Markakis promptly returned to the Atlanta Braves and posted a 1.025 OPS in his first 18 games.

But things quickly soured. The 37-year-old hit just .164 with a woeful .451 OPS in his final 19 games. Markakis hardly played better in the postseason, going just 4-for-21 through the Atlanta’s first two series’ before posting a .732 OPS in the NLCS.

Still, there is reason Markakis could make sense for Chicago.

Firstly, he would be cheap. The longtime Baltimore Oriole is in the final stage of his career, and he offers little in the way of slugging. But Markakis can spray the ball to all fields, and he is just two years removed from the first All-Star season of his career.

Chicago can plug Markakis in on a cheap deal and hope his contact-heavy approach can set things in motion in the back half of the batting order. The former Gold Glover is not the same defender he once was, but would nonetheless be a defensive upgrade.