Trade Matchmaker: Nick Franklin To The Yankees
Lost in the Robinson Cano signing, and the rest of Seattle’s busy offseason, is 2009 first round pick Nick Franklin. The 22-year-old was sent to the bench after the Cano deal, despite smacking 12 home runs and driving in 45 runs in just 102 games for the Mariners last season.
A switch-hitting 2nd baseman, Franklin’s 162 game averages would have been 19 HR, 71 RBI, 10 SB, and 32 2B, a pretty impressive feat considering his age and the nature of offensive 2nd baseman in baseball. Those numbers would have put him in the top five in HR among MLB 2nd basemen, and top 10 in RBI.
Still obviously very young, Franklin has the tendency to strike out a lot–as evidenced by his 113 K in 369 at bats last season–but that was his rookie year and his production is only going to increase. He does take walks, and is a good baserunner and is solid defensively as well.
With that in mind, what do the Mariners do with him? They have Brad Miller at shortstop, a plethora of options at designated hitter, and Cano at 2nd base for the next 10 years.
The answer is simple: Trade him.
To a certain contending team that just lost Cano and has a flimsy Brian Roberts currently set to handle the position.
Franklin is the kind of player the Yankees need: young, with upside at a premium offensive position that can run and play defense (something a lot of teams need actually). The short-porch in left for a guy that can hit 20-25 HR’s over a full season is even more inviting.
The Yankees would have to send some cash the Mariners way and either hitting prospect Mason Williams or Manuel Banuelos or Delin Betances, but they’d likely jump at the opportunity if it were to arise.
Franklin in pinstripes?
Consider it a possibility.
Follow OSPN Lead Writer Shawn Ferris on Twitter @RealShawnFerris for more MLB news and updates.