The Contract from Hell
"Woe to You Oh Earth and Sea
for the Devil sends the beast with wrath
because he knows the time is short
Let him who hath understanding
reckon the number of the beast
for it is a human number
its number is six hundred and sixty six."
Nick Markakis signs with the Orioles for 6 years and 66 million dollars. The title is not in any way a reference to it being an unwise contract, merely the numeric terms of it. Markakis is a very good fielder, so my chart shows him worth about 16 million per season. The Orioles are buying out 3 arbitration years, so he would have been a bargain anyway for those, and 3 free agent years, where he most certainly would not.
It is a very good sign that the Orioles will be able to keep one of the best young players in baseball around for a few more years, instead of watching him play for the Yankees in 2012. He's about as complete a player as you can get. And hopefully next time he hits a homer in my direction, I won't drop it like I did in September 2007.