The Seattle Mariners, who some say are intent on dealing infielder Nick Franklin before opening day, continue to seek another starting pitcher who can step in and bolster their rotation:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 15, 2014
Since reports of Seattle’s interest in trading Franklin came out, most have noted that they want a young, relatively inexpensive starting pitcher in exchange.
With general manager Jack Zduriencik confirming that his club is still seeking a starting pitcher, it’s safe to infer that the pitcher they seek may very well come in exchange for Franklin.
Aside from the Mets, both the Rays and Orioles have been linked to Franklin.
Jon Heyman claimed a few weeks back that the Rays “match up better” with Seattle, but that seems odd – especially if the Mariners are looking for a starting pitcher. The Rays have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball, don’t have a need for Franklin, and are likely to trade ace David Price during the season.
Baltimore’s apparent interest in Franklin – also reported by Heyman – is relatively new. The Orioles could conceivably dangle LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, but there’s nothing to indicate they’re willing to deal him.
Early Saturday, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets and Mariners hadn’t had recent “substantive” talks about Franklin, but not too much should be read into that.
According to multiple reports, the Mets are actively scouting Franklin in an effort to determine whether he can handle shortstop defensively on a long-term basis.
If the Mets haven’t yet come to a conclusion regarding Franklin’s defensive ability, there’s no reason why they would have had recent substantive talks with Seattle.
If the Mets determine that Franklin can handle short (most scouts think he can), it would then be time for Sandy Alderson to begin discussing potential deals with the Mariners.