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Mariners may soon trade SS Nick Franklin

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…




111 comments
Tom Szymanski
Tom Szymanski

If Push came to Shove -  I hope its Nick Franklin the Mets go after -  That is if they still refuse to sign Drew. If it was any other agent besides Boras, I think Drew would have been a Met already

Bill Vanwormer
Bill Vanwormer

Mets really need to kick the tires on this guy and then go get him

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

Black for Franklin is farcical. Not even close to realistic

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

I think trading for prospect for prospect is a smart deal. He's got lead-off potential, too. Montero, Black, Mejia should all be considered. If this is really something that can happen, the Mets need to do it.

Disciple
Disciple

I would trade Montero for Brad Miller or Nick Franklin and not even think twice about that...

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

12 homers  45 rbis and 6 stolen bases in 300 something abs,  I don't think Tejeda will hit 12 homers in 5 years.  Those are some interesting #s.  He's young plays shortstop and is a switch hitter and he can be had for a unproven bullpen guy where do i sign up.  And don't give me he only batted 225, bc tejeda only batted 200 last year.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

This guy might be worth a look. He's got a little pop in his bat, which Tejada clearly does not have (unless his conditioning regimen really paid-off). Plus he's got some speed and this team will have to manufacture as many runs as it can. Still not averse to giving Flores a shot at SS. At this point, what have they got to lose?

airfeet
airfeet

So many idiots on this blog think he can be had for Vic black. Mariners will want montero. A deal won't get done

Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee

The thing I like, and probably Sandy too, is his OBP. Minor league career average is .360. Even last year in the big when he hit .225 his OBP was .303. 
He's a switch hitter, can steal about 20 bases, and knows how to get on base.

Wouldn't mind giving up Black for him, but the Mets would then need to find another set-up man. 

They also might be looking for a starter who could move to the bullpen once Iwakuma comes back, so maybe they have interest in Carlos Torres. 

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

I don't get the whole infatuation with Wilmer Flores. You guys act like he's the second coming of a young Arod with the bat. I could understand if he hit .330 in the minors with 30+ HR's. But the guy is a .290 career minor league hitter with a high of 18 Hr's and an OPS of .762. For a guy that projects to be a 1B? 

Meanwhile everyone questions TDA saying he either sucks or "looks like a bust". While his ML numbers are .286 and .823 with a high of 21 HR's, out of the catcher's position! 

And just because he hit .202 in 99 AB's for the Mets? Meanwhile Flores hit a whopping .211 in 95 AB's. 

I just don't get it

mets1973
mets1973

If the price is right (not their top pitching prospects) I'd do it. Young, good potential upside, could move to 2b if Murphy gets too expensive.

gloveman
gloveman

The Mets need a lead off hitter more than they need a low BA shortstop. They already have that in Tejada. If this guy was a high OBP guy who was a slick fielder I'd be all over that. Although so would a lot of other teams.

Steve Gio
Steve Gio

Id say go after him but don't give up black we need him in the bullpen. Unless they can move someone else id rather play flores at ss.

fourwedges
fourwedges

I wouldn't trade Black.  I feel he is going to be important this season and going forward.

philj
philj

Honestly they should be looking to Arizona for a SS they have Chris Owens and Didi Gregorious...Both have decent hitting and solid defense....The mets should trade for the loser of that position battle

coppola8
coppola8

we already have this guy on the team his name is Wilmer Flores

slainte2
slainte2

He was #53 overall rated prospect in 2012 and #79 in 2013 per fangraphs. Hot start in AAA in 2013, then disappointing MLB campaign. Seattle blogs at end of 2013 described 2B as"a mess", then they signed Cano. Franklin is better than Tejada, but how much do you give up? There's tendency around here to focus on other teams' player potential and Mets' player limitations.

Kevin VanTassell
Kevin VanTassell

This just makes so much sense, Seattle has too many shortstops Mets have none. He's 23 and has some pop, with him and Murphy together the Mets would get 20-30 hrs from their middle infield. Plus he would be under the Mets control for 5 more years.

Zac Tindall
Zac Tindall

I don't understand how you guys don't think black would net franklin the mariners clearly want a young controllable reliever and black could close for them maybe a prospect comes off the list with black but it should only take that then replace black with mejia in the pen. This year the bullpen needs to be strong and black helps it a lot but if it spares us lookin at tejada

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

You have to love this kid's bat. Most scouts think he will end up being a 20HR guy which for a middle infielder is huge. However, the kid is not a shortstop. The minor leagues are full of guys like this who come up as SS's but get moved because they are not good enough to stick there at the ML level.

There's a reason the Mariners moved Franklin to 2B and not Miller. They say he doesn't have the range, below average arm for SS and clumsy footwork. Just go look at his minor league numbers, he has the worst fielding % of any of the SS prospects. He's a hack at SS. 

I could see the Mets trying to get him though and forcing him at SS with the intention of moving Murphy for salary reasons and then moving Franklin over to 2B where he belongs. 

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

I like Diaz / but Craig everybody will be in on him. i think we should go after Franklin. to me he makes alot more sense then going after Drew.   Drew maybe better now but still he is much much over paid for my taste. I take a chance on Franklin who is much younger and has growth .

METS HAPPEN
METS HAPPEN

ALEDMYS DIAZ.  SS/2B/3B  - CUBA    23 years old
Solid Contact Line-Drive hitter  with 15-20 HR pop,  With room to add power.
Good Glove, Great Arm,  Average Range, 
Only costs $$$.  
The best teams in baseball are interested in this guy, how are we not ?
Yanks, Atlanta, SF, ST. Louis, OAK, SEA, TOR  and Philly  are all connected.
This should be our priority.

dooley
dooley

This kid is a switch-hitter who has hit really well at every level once he has adjusted to the league. He is only 22 and has displayed power, good strike zone judgment, and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He may not have the arm to stick at short, but I would be willing to take that risk. If we get him, I believe it would be our best acquisition all off-season.

Steve Barbato
Steve Barbato

Thank god none of you at the GM. This guy would come here to play shortstop. Not first. Not second. he's a defensive liability and a strikeout machine. We already have enough strikeout guys in the lineup

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

Healthy enough for not i'd mail 2 Vic Blacks over Mejia.


Seriously?

airfeet
airfeet

Could end up being a great trade

airfeet
airfeet

Flores CANNOT play SS. It's not an option to consider, especially when you have murphy at 2b

Jimmy
Jimmy

I will avoid Flores's AAA numbers, since high PCL numbers cannot be trusted. The next best way to look at his Minors stats would be the A+-AA combo. Here are those stats:

130 Games, 18 HRs, 75 RBIS, 38 BBs, 60 Ks, .300 Avg, .349 OBP, .479 SLG, .827 OPS

For a comparison, I will use Keith Hernandez's AA-AAA combo stats here:

136 Games, 8 HRs, 77 RBIs, 58 BBs, 71 Ks, .278 Avg, .352 OBP, .388 SLG, .740 OPS.

Granted, Keith Hernandez was one of the best defensive 1B to ever play the game. It is almost impossible to ask anyone, let alone Flores, replicate Keith Hernandez (please do so, Dominic Smith).

However, Flores' Minors offensive stats are equal to or slightly better than Keith's. The stats are undeniable.

As for defense, how many 3Bs have made the switch to 1B successfully? The answer is MANY. Flores also came up playing middle infield, so range at 1B will not be a problem. With some time playing 1B in AAA, he will be at least average there defensively AND offensively.

As for fans "over-rating Wilmer Flores", I would look to how many scouts put him in the Top Prospects Lists over the last few years. The fans are not alone.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@chaven416 @metsblog  And have the worst defensive SS in the majors? 

And hope he hits? So a kid who has limited range, a questionable arm and a career .943 fielding % at SS? Do you realize what the MLB SS's field? The top 31 listed bottom out with Castro at .9614 in 31st place! So where does that .943 put him? 

The guy was moved to 2B for a reason! 

coppola8
coppola8

I would probably prefer to sign drew than trade for NF considering again we have him already in Flores, and Murphy

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

He was a top 100 prospect this time last year.What makes you think he won't cost a high prospect?

dooley
dooley

I think most Mets fans would trade Black for Franklin, but if you were the M's, wouldn't you want a lot more?

metstastic
metstastic

The more I read about his defense at SS, he might make Flores look good! If we want someone that can't play SS, it might as well be Flores! I think their offense is comparable.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Anthony DiComo tweeted yesterday that the Mets are definitely not in on Aledmys Diaz. I think that's why they leaked this stuff about trading with the Mariners on the same day.

I thought Diaz was worth the risk of $6 million a year too. Mets can't afford it though. He'll probably sign with the Cardinals or Yankees. I will be severely pissed if Diaz becomes an All-Star for the Yankees over the next few years.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Craig Kelly  I don't know enough about this kid to really say anything worthwhile but it does make you wonder why all of those teams are interested and we are not. Then again maybe it doesn't. Maybe they have a clue what it will cost and they simply don't have the money. 

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

@Michael Fichera i would not trade those two i am talking younger guys in the minors like the second baseman we got with Black last July i would trade de Groom as well . Keep Mejia and keep Black. 

Jared Holton
Jared Holton

It's because black is supposed to be a big part of the bullpen this year… can't see them trading for him then trading him away in less than a year

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@rstpigeon @Daniel WexlerNot even close to enough. I like Black a lot but the guy is an upper 20's short man. Mariners want a starting caliber OF or a guy they can slot into their rotation. They want to compete NOW. Montero is probably their target. I personally wouldn't want to deal Montero for Franklin but if they would include Ramirez in an expanded deal I'd consider it.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Jimmy  Lol! Ok we'll if we're going to only look at one year of his career that's a whole different issue! Not even going to touch the Keith Hernandez comparison.

I'm not knocking Flores. My point was the way Mets fans rave about Flores yet TDA doesn't get the same respect.

But I'm sure you're right, Flores will be just as good as Keith.

rico
rico

@metstastic  unless his new conditioning has changed everything Flores is a DH in major league baseball. His glove has been unsatisfactory at every level. I hope his new regime makes him a serviceable infielder but all the "flores= shortstop" stuff has got to stop. 

Jimmy
Jimmy

His OBP is pretty low.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Jimmy If I'm Seattle, why would I give up my young legitimate SS of the future? I can't see them doing that. Now if you were to offer them a Wheeler or Thor they would! 

Jimmy
Jimmy

You make some great points. You don't think there's anything we could offer Seattle for Miller? They need an outfielder and a starting pitcher. If we can't give them quality (Thor), give them quantity (Gee/Neise+Puello and DenDekker).

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Jimmy  I've never denied that Flores does not have potential. But I do think some people here tend to make him out to be much more than he is. And my point is I just don't get why the discrepancy between TDA and Flores and the way people view them. Especially considering TDA plays a premium position and has a position. With Flores there's the rub. Where do you play him? And it looks like the Mets don't know either. He's best suited for 3B or even 1B. Even the Mets in their desperate need for a SS aren't looking for him to fill in at SS other than in an emergency, Justin Turner style. And he can go to all the speed/agility training he wants it's not going to do a great deal to improve his hands. I kind of feel bad for the kid but he looks like he might be one of these kids who's not a star type talent good enough to force a teams hand but good enough to be in no mans land. 

I'm with you on Miller, no way SEA gives him up. Owings I want nothing to do with. He's in the same boat as Franklin defensively. And I just think you are asking for trouble to put a kid there in this big media market who's a legitimate question mark defensively when you already have Murphy at 2B. Now if their plan is to move Murphy and play either Owings or Franklin at 2B then that's a whole different issue.

It's just not that easy to find a bonafide pure SS that can stick their at the ML level and not be a defensive liabilty. 

Jimmy
Jimmy

You can look at all of Flores' Minor League numbers, and compare them to anyone else's, and they are pretty decent. You say .290 Hitter as if that's a bad thing. He has hit around .300 consistently throughout his career. He was hitting well in his call up last year before he hurt his ankle. You talk about how many HRs these players hit, as if that's the most important stat. Far from it. Stat guys don't like using RBIs, but Flores has put up 70+ RBIs in every league he's played in. that's not coincidental. he makes things happen with his bat. You need a guy like that in the lineup, when all of the great HR hitters are striking out 100 times a season. The only knock on him is his range, when he was given a 30 (out of 60) early in his career. There is only one way to find out if that 30 still holds true, put him in Spring Training games and see what he does. Nobody is anointing him "MVP" yet, but you cannot deny that he has potential, just like D'Arnaud. For the record, I think D'Arnaud will play great this year. And so would Flores, if he ever gets the chance to play.

Still, if he proves he can't play SS this Spring, I think we need to go for Miller (impossible), Owings (possible), or Franklin (still not sure he's much of an upgrade), and in that order.

Jimmy
Jimmy

DH?! He can play 3B and 2B. I don't know about shortstop, because I haven't seen him play there, but neither have you. Mets scouts gave him a 30 for Range in 2011. That's a tough hole to dig out of, but lets at least see what he does in Spring Training before we call him a DH please?