The Mets will scout M’s SS Nick Franklin throughout spring training, and then decide if he’s worth acquiring in trade, a team source said (Harper, Feb. 26).
Last year in his big-league debut, Franklin, 22, hit around .290 until a big slump in July. He finished the year batting .225 with 12 HR, 45 RBI and 113 strikeouts in 96 games.
The teams likes Franklin’s power, but have questions about his defense (Harper, Feb. 26).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The Mariners wanted a young pitcher, I heard a Vic Black, Jake deGrom type, back around the time of the Winter Meetings, similar to the type of arm Sandy Alderson has been asking in return for Ike Davis.
Yesterday, I said I’d rather sign free-agent SS Stephen Drew to a two-year, $20 million deal than trade a useful pitcher for Franklin. However, this morning I talked with MLB’s prospect expert Jonathan Mayo who may have changed my mind, as he told me:
“Franklin is a better defender than Wilmer Flores. … If Franklin is your every-day shortstop, it’s because you’re OK with having a more offensive-minded shortstop. He’ll make the routine plays. He’s a good athlete. But, he wouldn’t ge a great shortstop. … If you graded him out, only the hit tool grades out above average. … He’s the kind of guy that could probably give you 15 HR and 15 stolen bases every year.”
Mayo said he would rather acquire Franklin than sign free-agent Stephen Drew.
I also talked today with someone who has watched Franklin closely the last few years and he described the infielder as ‘tough,’ ‘aggressive,’ ‘run-through-a-brick-wall type of player.’
I still don’t think I’d give up Black, and I certainly wouldn’t trade Rafael Montero for him (nor would the Mets, by the way). But, if Tejada isn’t looking legit enough, and if Wilmer Flores still isn’t ready, and if Drew is still asking for the moon, I could be convinced to give up a Triple-A prospect to get this kid, so long as it’s not Montero or Noah Syndergaard.