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 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.

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Tags: Nick Franklin Ryan Goins Toronto Blue Jays

  • Garygiveaway

    Then not than

  • Hooey_Plain

    Nick Franklin would be a great pickup. Even Ackley would be a major improvement, since he can play outfield or first as well as second. With the pickup of Hendriks, the Jays now has even more young pitching depth, so can afford to trade away one of their current back of the rotation guys who are out of options.

    • Eric

      Completely agree 100%. But Rasmus leaving, no way.

  • brad

    Maybe…. but not for Rasmus. The downgrade in CF would be bigger than the upgrade at 2b

  • Shaun Doyle

    Nice piece. I agree with brad. Trading Rasmus would create a gap in CF that Gose cannot fill. The need at 2B right now is not as big as the need in CF would be with that deal. However, the Jays have relievers to part with…

    • Ryan Mueller

      Who would you suggest? I don’t think that Seattle would be interested in taking our 4th or 5th OF. I don’t think that Seattle needs more young pitchers, but I am sure they would ask for either Stroman or Sanchez.

  • harmony55

    One year of 27-year-old Colby Rasmus won’t land six years of 22-year-old Nick Franklin.
    For what it’s worth, Oliver projects a 2014 WAR of 3.6 for Rasmus and 3.4 for Michael Saunders so the centerfield upgrade might not be significant for Seattle. The lefthanded bat of Rasmus, who unlkely to sustain his 2013 BABIP of .356, would not fit well in a Mariner lineup that is already too lefthanded.
    Seattle probably matches up better with the Marlins, Mets or Twins in trade of Franklin for an outfielder (Jake Marisnick, Juan Lagares or Aaron Hicks).

    • Ryan Mueller

      A trade of Rasmus straight up for Nick Franklin would definitely not provide Toronto with a fair return this year, but let play the what if game…what if Rasmus plays to his 2012 standard and leaves as a free agent at the completion of 2014? If Franklin provides league average production over the next 6 years, then this a trade that needs to be made. If Toronto was able to get a mid level prospect in the deal then that adds more value. The problem with Rasmus is that he has been so unpredictable and being an upcoming free-agent that is very risky.

  • Jason Oriente

    If Rasmus plays as he can, I hope the Jays don’t fall back into their small market thinking and get rid of him. I think we can afford to keep SOME players.

    • Ryan Mueller

      Agree, but I think that if Rasmus plays well and if Gose doesn’t, than I am confident that AA will sign him. If Rasmus asks for Adam Jones money than I would be very disappointed if AA signs him.

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