Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is Seattle Mariners' 2B Nick Franklin a good fit for Toronto Blue Jays?

According to Adam Rubin over at ESPNNewYork.com the Seattle Mariners may still be shopping Nick Franklin or Brad Miller before Opening Day.

The Toronto Blue Jays have had a quiet off-season in terms of transactions, but had been very active in (or is on???) the rumor mill. Due to the lack of activity on the trade market the Jays still happen to have the outfielder(s) which Seattle may have interest; however, Seattle has since added Logan Morrison and Corey Hart.

In Morrison and Hart, Seattle picked up two solid bats but below average defenders. They fit the LF/1B/DH role but I believe out of necessity Hart will be forced into a right field role. If Seattle were to acquire say, Colby Rasmus, this would certainly help address their outfield situation. A trade involving Rasmus for Franklin alone might not be enough for the Blue Jays but I will leave the specifics of a possible deal up to real GMs and you, the commenters.

Currently, Seattle has Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley manning center field. Not to say that Saunders isn’t a solid major league center fielder but Rasmus would be a serious upgrade for the M’s.

During spring training Franklin will be expected to compete with Miller for the Mariners’ starting shortstop job, as I am nearly 100% certain that Robinson Cano will be playing second base…call it a hunch based on comments from Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon.

“Nick came in, and we had a great talk. One of the things I told him was, ‘Look, we’ve got a Hall of Fame second baseman, and that’s just the way it is. This is a new chapter in your career. One door is closing; another is opening. It’s an opportunity for you. I’m going into this with my eyes wide open. You have an opportunity to compete for the shortstop position, and I wish you the best of luck.”

The fact he can play short speaks volumes about Franklin as an athlete and teammate. He has also expressed that he more comfortable playing shortstop over second base. However the Blue Jays need a second baseman so let’s see how he stacks up against another converted SS Ryan Goins.

Goins vs. Franklin

Coming up through the minors Franklin was considered to be a toolsy infielder with a solid bat, glove, and speed. He was ranked as high as #53 by Baseball America in 2011.

Franklin will provide solid, not stellar defense. He will provide a bigger bat than Goins and would benefit greatly from playing the hitter friendly parks of the AL East and not in Safeco Field, County Coliseum, or Angel Stadium. He has already shown the ability to hit 10+ HR and take his share of walks. He was prone to the strikeout (27.4%), but that isn’t uncommon for many 22-year-old players.

Goins will play good defense, we know that Goins started his big league career with a nice hitting streak, cooled off, but ended the year with another 8 or 9 game hitting streak. This tells me that Goins can make adjustments and although I don’t think that he will have a very strong bat, I do think that he will fare well over the course of an entire season. He did walk very much and strikes out too much (23.1%).

Goins wins in the field and Franklin wins in the power department. Both guys are capable of swiping about 15 bags. Franklin seems to have the higher ceiling of the two.

If Nick Franklin could be had for the right price then he would fit nicely at second base and could form a strong platoon with Goins. At least until one of them proves that they are ready to take the starting role for themselves. If Seattle wants to hold on to Franklin I am sure that AA would gladly take Miller or recently converted center fielder Ackley off their hands instead.

Tags: Nick Franklin Ryan Goins Toronto Blue Jays

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