Report: Mets interested in Mariners’ Nick Franklin
Feb 24, 2014, 4:21 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm
By Brent Stecker
With the arrival of Robinson Cano in Seattle, it has widely been assumed that the Mariners would have to find a new home for second baseman Nick Franklin before the 2014 season begins. It now appears a trade of Franklin could be near, with the New York Mets at the forefront of potential suitors for his services.
Nick Franklin hit 12 home runs in his rookie season of 2013, but the addition of Robinson Cano has made the infielder expendable for the Mariners. (AP)
A Mets insider has acknowledged their interest in the switch-hitting Franklin, with talks with the Mariners stretching back as far as the winter meetings, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.
Franklin, who will turn 23 Sunday, was an early candidate for the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2013, but the former first-round draft pick struggled in the second half of the season and finished with a .225 batting average. He also had 12 home runs, 45 RBIs and six steals.
The Mets are assessing whether Franklin could fill a need at shortstop, Rubin wrote. Franklin, who committed 12 errors last season, played three of his 96 games at shortstop, though he played 261 games at shortstop to just 122 at second base in the minors.
Franklin is not expected to challenge for the shortstop position with the Mariners, however, as fellow second-year player Brad Miller is regarded as a more natural shortstop and is expected to maintain the starting spot.
The offseason signing of utility player Willie Bloomquist provides another playing-time road block for Franklin.