Sources: O's, Markakis reach deal
The Baltimore Orioles have rewarded their top young hitter with a long-term extension.
The deal was first reported by The Baltimore Sun. Sources told Olney that Markakis has escalator clauses that total another $7.5 million and also receives a limited no-trade clause. He and the team have a mutual option in the seventh year.Markakis, 25, hit .306 last season for Baltimore, leading the team. He has hit at least 20 home runs in two of his three seasons and has a .299 career average in 465 games with Baltimore. It's the second-biggest contract in Orioles history, behind the six-year, $72 million contract Miguel Tejada signed with the club in 2003. Tejada was traded to the Astros before last season. Markakis was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. Markakis was selected by Baltimore with the seventh overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft. The 25-year-old has a .299 career batting average and has not played in fewer than 147 games in any of his three big league seasons. His best season was in 2007, when he batted .300 with 23 homers and 112 RBIs in 161 games. Markakis gives the Orioles a combination of speed, power and defense. Besides possessing a strong arm and impressive first-to-third speed, he stole 10 bases and had a .491 slugging percentage. On Aug. 22, 2006, Markakis hit three homers in a game -- the 18th Oriole to accomplish the feat and the first since 1999. In other news Monday, the Orioles obtained minor league pitcher David Pauley from the Boston Red Sox for right-hander Randor Bierd. The 25-year-old Pauley went 14-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 25 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket in 2008 and is 56-52 with a 3.92 ERA in 177 minor league games over eight seasons. He went 0-1 with an 11.68 ERA in six games with the Red Sox last season. Bierd was 0-2 in 29 games with Baltimore in 2008. Senior writer Buster Olney covers baseball for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.