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.
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 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.