MOVING TO FILL an outfield void after the trade of Jason Heyward, the Atlanta Braves agreed with free agent Nick Markakis on a 4-year contract that multiple reported indicated was worth $44 million.
Markakis, 31, spent the first 9 years of his career with Baltimore. This past season, he batted .276 with 14 homers and 50 RBI while winning his second Gold Glove.
Markakis became the second key player to leave the AL East champion Orioles this week. All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz, who led the majors with 40 home runs last season, agreed to a deal with Seattle.
"You don't want my opinion!!!!!!!!" Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones tweeted yesterday.
In other Braves news, they agreed to terms with former Baltimore closer Jim Johnson on a 1-year contract. Johnson, 31, went 5-2 with a 7.09 ERA in a combined 53 1/3 innings last year for Oakland and Detroit.
Also, Atlanta tossed pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy into the free-agent market. Once considered rising stars in the rotation, Medlen and Beachy did not pitch in 2014 after ligament-replacement surgeries during spring training, the second Tommy John operation for each.
* Five-time All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter is returning to Minnesota after agreeing to a 1-year, $10.5 million contract. Hunter, who hit .286 with 17 homers and 83 RBI for Detroit last season, played for the Twins from 1997-2007.
* Seattle traded outfielder Michael Saunders to Toronto in exchange for former Phillies lefthander J.A. Happ. Saunders appeared in 78 games and hit .273 with eight homers and 34 RBI for Seattle. Happ, 32, appeared in 30 games and made 26 starts for the Blue Jays last season. He went 11-11 with a 4.22 ERA.
* Kansas City righthanded reliever Luke Hochevar agreed to a 2-year, $10 million deal. He missed last season after Tommy John surgery.
* San Diego agreed to a 1-year contract with former Pittsburgh shortstop Clint Barmes, 1 day declining to tender a contract to shortstop Everth Cabrera, a 2013 All-Star who has had drug issues.
* Mets ace Matt Harvey, recovering from Tommy John surgery in October 2013, says he is willing to accept limits on his starts and innings next year to able to pitch in the playoffs if New York makes it that far.
* The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Chris Heisey from Cincinnati for minor league righthander Matt Magill.
* There will be no jail time for a self-described deliveryman for the South Florida clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players and other athletes. A federal judge sentenced Christopher Engroba to 2 years on probation after prosecutors said he has cooperated extensively in the Biogenesis of America investigation.
* Washington centerfielder Denard Span had surgery for a sports hernia and is expected to be ready for spring training.
* Chief operating officer Tim Brosnan will leave Major League Baseball at the end of January after losing to Rob Manfred in the competition to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner.