Feb 23, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin (6) fields grounders during camp at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Franklin Optioned to Triple-A; Will the Mets Scoop Him Up?


With Opening Day a weekend away, teams are finalizing their 25-man rosters. In Seattle, the Mariners chose to go with Brad Miller at shortstop and optioned Nick Franklin to Triple-A Tacoma. Franklin, 23, has been mentioned as a potential shortstop of the future for the Mets. They are not alone: the Orioles, Rays, and even the Yankees have been discussed as landing spots for Franklin.

 

Thoughts

Nick Franklin won’t be calling Tacoma home for long. Not with this many suitors, and especially not with that other New York team in the mix. Seattle is desperate for starting pitching, and it will be important for them to win early and often to keep up in an ultracompetitive AL West. There’s a good chance that Franklin will be on his way to the major leagues with another franchise before May Day.

As for the Mets, Ruben Tejada is the shortstop for now, but for how long? Speculation has been constant that Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins are fed up with Tejada’s antics, so how long of a leash will he realistically get in 2014?

Ruben was dreadful in the first two months of 2013, and only an injury kept him from being demoted at that time. There has to be little-to-no chance he will get that much leeway in 2014; if he’s lousy through the first 10 games or so, he may be done for good. Mets fans and front office will shed few tears.

If he only gets a couple weeks’ audition, the Mets should still have time to make a move for Franklin. With Rafael Montero due for a promotion before Memorial Day, and with Daisuke Matsuzaka more than a fair replacement until Montero does come up, New York can easily part with Jenrry Mejia or Dillon Gee in order to bring Franklin in and install him at shortstop.

The Mariners are not going to sell off Nick Franklin in a fire sale, but the clock is ticking for the Mets.

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Tags: New York Mets Nick Franklin Ruben Tejada

  • Not4Nutten

    Nick Franklin is not the answer at SS for the Mets, he has no range and hands of stone, he can however be put in the outfield but he would have to spend sometime in AAA to brush up on his skills and he’s no better than the guys we have down there!!!!! Not4Nutten but Forgetaboutit!!!!!!!!!

    • Ken Meoni

      I totally agree with your assessment. Giving up either of the pitchers Will mentioned would be overpaying for something we have already. Flores can be just as good at SS as this guy and probably hit the same if not better.

    • harmony55

      Neither of those pitchers — Jenrry Mejia or Dillon Gee — would land 23-year-old Nick Franklin, who has Oliver’s projected five-year WAR of 17.5, so Mets fans don’t need to worry about losing the 24-year-old righthander with a projected five-year WAR of 0.5 or the nearly 28-year-old righthander who is projected at 2.5 WAR over the remaining three years of team control.

  • Abel Mann

    It would be nuts to trade Gee.

  • harmony55

    Seattle may well move Nick Franklin to the outfield where Franklin could draw comparisons to Adam Jones.

    The Mariners drafted Jones as a high school shortstop with the 37th pick of the 2003 draft and Franklin as a high school shortstop with the 27th pick of the 2009 draft. Jones and Franklin became ranked on Top 100 prospect lists, including peaking at No. 44 on Baseball Prospectus lists.

    Compare their minor league numbers in the same Seattle farm system:

    AJ 2159 PA, .291/.354/.476/.830
    NF 1768 PA, .287/.360/.459/.819

    The Mariners traded Jones to the Orioles the offseason after Jones turned 22 years old while Franklin just turned 23 years old. Here are their MLB numbers at those respective points in their careers:

    AJ 147 PA, .230/.267/.353/.620, OPS+ 63
    NF 412 PA, .225/.303/.382/.686, OPS+ 96

    Franklin had posted a .287/.345/.485/.830 line in his first 148 plate appearances last season before tapering off.

    Seattle converted Jones from shortstop to the outfield for the minor league season in which Jones turned 21 years of age. Jones has since become a three-time Gold Glove-winning All Star outfielder. Franklin made his first appearance in the outfield last week in Spring Training.

    The Mariners probably have a greater need for an outifelder than the Mets do. I don’t place great weight on this anecdotal comparison, but I find the comparison interesting nonetheless.

  • Jenffrj

    Wow, enough of Franklin already. Seattle and their fans want a ransom for this guy. He is a poor fielding infielder who hit .225 last year. Please keep him Seattle. If he is so good, you will need his “talent” this season. Not at all interested. Would take Drew or Owings only.