The Mariners are likely going to trade 22-year-old SS Nick Franklin before Opening Day, according to industry sources (ESPN NY, Feb. 20).
Franklin hit .225 with 12 HR, 45 RBI and six stolen bases in 96 games as a rookie last season, during which he played second base. The Mariners already have SS Brad Miller and signed 2B Robinson Cano as a free agent, which makes Franklin expendable.
“Shortstop’s really my natural position,’’ Franklin said (Seattle Times, Feb. 20), in regards to competing with Miller at shortstop this spring. “I grew up playing shortstop my whole life. It’s nothing new to me.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The Mariners have been talking with teams about Franklin since the Winter Meetings, according to friends with Seattle. The moment they signed Cano, front offices around MLB starting asking about Franklin’s status. The buzz all winter is that Seattle is looking for an inexpensive, under-team-control, young arm. I see Mets fans suggesting Jacob deGrom, but I sense the Mariners are thinking more along the lines of a Vic Black. I’d say Jenrry Mejia, but he just hasn’t been healthy enough to be part of a meaningful trade. I assume Seattle’s asking price is high, because they’ve been talking to teams about trading him all winter and nothing has happened. This sounds a lot like what Sandy Alderson has gone through with Ike Davis…