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Markakis renewed by club for just $455K

Seems the O's have decided to take a page from the Brewers and the Phillies and play hardball with their young talent. From The Baltimore Sun...

The Orioles failed to agree to terms with Nick Markakis by today's deadline, meaning the outfielder's contract will be renewed for the 2008 season.

Markakis, who hit .300 last year with 23 homers, 112 RBIs and 18 steals, will make $455,000 after earning $400,000 last year. The outfielder is eligible for arbitration following the 2008 season.

"We couldn't come to an agreement with anything so we're just going to take it and get renewed," said Markakis. "That's just how the Orioles feel. I don't have much of a choice. I'm just going to have to deal with it."

Markakis, 24, is among several prominent young players to have their contract renewed in recent days. The Philadelphia Phillies renewed the contract of Cole Hamels at $500,000, a result that the ace left-hander called a "low blow." Hamels went 15-5 with a 3.39 ERA last season and is viewed as one of the top young pitchers in the game.

The Milwaukee Brewers also renewed the contract of first baseman Prince Fielder at $670,000. Fielder, the 23-year-old who finished third in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting last year, hit 50 homers with 119 RBIs last year.

"I'm not happy about it at all," Fielder told reporters. "The fact I've had to be renewed two years in a row, I'm not happy about it because there's a lot of guys who have the same amount of time that I do who have done a lot less and are getting paid a lot more."

What is the purpose of alienating the best young player you have on your team? Is making Markakis want to leave really worth the $500K or so it would have taken to make him happy? I just don't get this at all.