Orioles Among Teams Interested In Nick Franklin

The Orioles have joined the Rays and Mets as teams discussing a deal with the Mariners for middle infielder Nick Franklin, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Baltimore would be interested in using Franklin at second base, where the team remains somewhat unsettled entering the season.

Franklin is competing (nominally, at least) with Brad Miller at short for Seattle after being displaced at second by Robinson Cano. The 23-year-old had a solid debut last year, posting a .225/.303/.389 line in 412 plate appearances after taking over at the keystone for Dustin Ackley. Franklin is considered a more marginal defender at shortstop than Miller, and has no apparent alternative spot in the Seattle infield, opening the possibility for a deal.


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87 Comments on "Orioles Among Teams Interested In Nick Franklin"


Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Of course Heyman reporting on Franklin, he’s a Boras client. Heyman should just admit he’s the press wing of the Boras corporation.

Collateral96
1 year 5 months ago

Most I’ve heard about this guy in a while. Unless you’re a Mariners fan you dk who he is

Seamaholic
1 year 5 months ago

Heyman is very close to Boras, and publishes “rumors” that are favorable to Boras clients all the time. That said, the Mets, Rays, and O’s being interested in Franklin is not earth shattering news.

BooJays33
1 year 5 months ago

Let’s go ahead and add Blue Jays to that list

Tyler James Israel
1 year 5 months ago

He is a stud. The O’s would be lucky to line him up next to Machado once Hardy leaves.

We would love a nice pitching prospect.

jay
1 year 5 months ago

brian matusz straight up?

craig
1 year 5 months ago

it will be Zack Britton

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

Zach Britton, a 26-year-old lefthander with a projected five-year WAR of 5.1, is likely to be an increasingly expensive Super Two arbitration player after this season. Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 17.5 for Nick Franklin, who turned 23 this month and who remains under team control for six seasons.

GoRav114
1 year 5 months ago

If they do it the Mariners won’t take Britton like u noted. I do think they would take Bud Norris just not sure O’s wanna give up on Norris.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

Britton has been scouted a lot down here and the Mariners have been one of the teams scouting him not saying it for this guy

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

Brian Matusz, who remains under team control for only three seasons, is a 27-year-old lefthander with a projected five-year WAR of 2.1 despite a 2014 salary of $2.4 million. Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 17.5 for Nick Franklin, who turned 23 last week and who remains under team control for six seasons, including three years at near the league minimum salary.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not saying any of those proposals are that good, but please stop using the 5 year Oliver projections as way to justify or not justify a trade. Unless of course you are ready to trade Franklin(17.5 WAR) and Walker(7.4 WAR) to the Rays for Kevin Kiermaier(24.6 WAR) and Brandon Gomes(0.4 WAR).

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

I recognize there are many methods to determine future value but the Oliver five-year WAR projections are the only free and publicly available long-term projections I have found.

If you have a better means to project future value, please share.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

I appreciate the work that goes into creating these projection systems, however they struggle with players who haven’t set a multiple year MLB baseline yet, as well as those with some injury history.

This is why I believe it is foolish to use Nick Franklin’s 5 year projected WAR as a means to evaluating potential trades, unless you do think that Franklin(17.5 WAR) and Walker(7.4 WAR) to the Rays for Kevin Kiermaier(24.6 WAR) and Brandon Gomes(0.4 WAR) is a good trade for the Mariners.

Damon Bowman
1 year 5 months ago

The Oliver projections are only useful if Franklin has a job. He’s not going to produce those numbers sitting on a bench just as Matusz might produce much higher numbers if shifted from lefty out of the pen to #5 starter.

Lefebvre Believer
1 year 5 months ago

So the Os are in too… Franklin for Jones and Tillman? See what I did there?

wadesawko
1 year 5 months ago

Please include George Sherill to be fair.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

Seattle needs to Boycott any trades to the O’s. I’m still upset with all that trade with jones and Bedard.

Lefebvre Believer
1 year 5 months ago

I made this snide remark without even realizing the full depth of it. Notice how the Ms are now in need of a center fielder and starting pitching? Ugh, sorry to rub it in Ms’ fans, but know what they’ll need if and when an aging Cano ever moves to 1B? Thankfully they don’t seem as eager to make a deal as they did back then.

All that being said, I still hope they can find a match for Franklin with one of these teams and improve their 25 man roster. If not, stashing away him at AAA isn’t the worst plan in the world.

FOmeOLS
1 year 5 months ago

Is Franklin significantly better then the second base options the Orioles currently have?
Especially defensively?
Baltimore already has a very strong lineup, they should not sacrifice outstanding defense for a little bit more OBP

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

Infinitely. if the season was to start tomorrow? The O’s would have jemile Weeks at 2b. Franklin is far better than Weeks. My issue is that the O’s don’t really have anything to give up in exchange for Franklin. They don’t have any bats, having to sign Cruz themselves and aren’t about to trade away Gausman, Brandon Kline etc.. The few power arms they have with upside.

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

Oliver projects a five-year WAR of a a negative 0.5 for 27-year-old Jemille Weeks and 17.5 for Nick Franklin, who turned 23 last week.

jjs91
1 year 5 months ago

Are you sure they wouldn’t have schoop at second?

Abusoru007
1 year 5 months ago

Probably not to start the year. He’ll likely be a midseason call-up. They’ll likely give Weekes and Flaherty shots first.

FOmeOLS
1 year 5 months ago

Franklin can’t hit. Last year he hit .225. And his defense is only adequate.
And I don’t think you are correct about Jemile Weeks. At the moment either Flaherty or Schoop would have the spot.
Regardless, based on what I’ve read, Franklin doesn’t have anything superior to what we already have.

Jared Keeney
1 year 5 months ago

What have you been reading?? Look at franklins minor league stats. The man can hit for average and power. I’d say hes a better 2nd baseman over SS. The kid started off hot in the majors but Eric Wedge being his dumb self he kept him in we he was slumping bad. People go straight to his last years stats and think he sucks (he only played half the year). Do your research…

Jared Keeney
1 year 5 months ago

What have you been reading?? Look at franklins minor league stats. The man can hit for average and power. I’d say hes a better 2nd baseman over SS. The kid started off hot in the majors but Eric Wedge being his dumb self he kept him in we he was slumping bad. People go straight to his last years stats and think he not good(he only played half the year). Do your research…

Korflock
1 year 5 months ago

I guarantee trading Nick Franklin will be as big as a mistake like trading Adam Jones.

Seamaholic
1 year 5 months ago

If he’s that good why don’t the Mariners find a place for him to play? He’s nowhere near as talented as Jones. Even the rosiest projects have him as barely above average, around a 3 WAR player, and it ranges down to barely above replacement. Lots of questions about his body type and whether the power will be sustainable once the league adapts to him.

jayson
1 year 5 months ago

3 WAR is better than “barely above average” in my opinion.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

He’s put on a lot of muscle in the last 2 years. He’s got fast hands and can turn on the inside stuff and keep it fair. The power will continue. I would like to see him in Tacoma learning to play CF. Just me.

James F
1 year 5 months ago

I’d like Franklin to get some time in the outfield as well. He has some experience in the outfield but only in high school. I prefer to see Ackley traded based on his team control.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Before trading Ackley I would like to see him hit a little at the major league level to increase his value. If he hit, we may not want to trade him. The kid as a propensity of scoring runs. When he gets on, he scores a lot.

algionfriddo
1 year 5 months ago

Because they are the M’s. Franklin should get a look in RF & should not be traded unless they get a CF’er back. RF is open since they will likely give Saunders a Wedgie & Hart is a DH.

Quipex
1 year 5 months ago

Orioles have internal options just as good as Franklin… unless a trade is just the Orioles’ way of shedding some of the excess players from their squad who are out of options.

Seamaholic
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, Schoop is as good or better than Franklin, I’d guess.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 5 months ago

That is kinda what I was thinking. So the trade from the O’s perspective would be no player of consequence. I very highly doubt it would be Britton.

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

Zach Britton, a 26-year-old lefthander with a projected five-year WAR of 5.1, is likely to be an increasingly expensive Super Two arbitration player after this season. Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 17.5 for Nick Franklin, who turned 23 this month and who remains under team control for six seasons.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

Not hardly. Franklin is an in demand player and the only reason talks wouldn’t be initiated between Baltimore and Seattle, with the orioles a clear weakness at 2b is because Baltimore really doesn’t have much to deal with and i say that as a fan of BOTH teams.

Rabbitov
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t know why the Os would trade for Franklin unless they were worried about Hardy not re-signing in which case, they would be aiming for an infield of Franklin at 2nd, Schoop at 3rd and Machado at SS.

TheManFromMarsCircular
1 year 5 months ago

Schoop is just as good if not better a prospect than Franklin so that’s inaccurate.

orangeoctober
1 year 5 months ago

I’d be surprised if they make this move honestly. Schoop has been playing well in spring training, and so has Weeks really. I think they’d rather bring up Schoop and let him play 2B than trade for another young 2B prospect.
Like Rabbitov said though, unless they’re worried about next year and want to line up Machado at SS, Schoop at 3B and Franklin at 2B. I think they get JJ back though and lock up the left half of the infield.

GonzoBlogger
1 year 5 months ago

I wonder who Dave Cameron, the founder of the Mariner Blog, USSM, and proprietor of the secret algorithms behind W.A.R. might think is a worthy player from the Orioles for the M’s to secure in exchange for Nick Franklin. His is the only opinion I cherish as an M’s fan. I just hope Dave Cameron would be in favor of a full-time MLB-ready position player, or a starting pitcher.

Chad
1 year 5 months ago

agree!

John Kreese
1 year 5 months ago

I hope you’re joking. If we’ve learned anything about Dave Cameron over the years is that Dave Cameron loves himself some Dave Cameron.

GonzoBlogger
1 year 5 months ago

Yes John. I would tell you more, but that is not allowed here.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

The M’s won’t be able to get the top SP like Bundy or Gaussman, but I see Eduardo Rodriguez as a good target. He’s a 20 yo LHP who is ranked similar now to where Franklin was going into last season.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think we trade any of those three

orangeoctober
1 year 5 months ago

i dont see the Orioles parting with Eduardo Rodriguez. He’s already come up a few times in trade talks and they’ve refused every time. They have a surplus of players without options left, so they probably want to unload some of them. However I don’t even see the O’s being that motivated to make this trade since their top position prospect Jonathan Schoop is supposed to come up to the majors this year and take over at 2B. He’s also been playing very well so far this spring, a lot of fans want him to break camp with the team.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

Barring the O’s thinking that Schoop isn’t the long term answer at 2B, I agree that I don’t think they would be in a hurry to trade for Franklin.

However, if they did choose to make this trade, their out of option players won’t cut it. The only two that would are Tillman and Davis and Baltimore won’t be trading either of them. The Orioles are also built to win now, so I don’t think they would want to move anybody of significance off of their MLB roster. That leaves prospects and the only one who is good enough for Franklin, that wouldn’t be an overpay is Rodriguez. But like we said, I don’t think these teams make a great match.

TheManFromMarsCircular
1 year 5 months ago

Probably Zach Britton and maybe one other player. You won’t get Rodriguez for him, they arent that desperate for a 2b.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

Plus M’s are looking for starters

wadesawko
1 year 5 months ago

Hoping Neil Walker gets injured and we can send Franklin and Smoak to Pittsburgh and get our hands on Gregory Polanco.

GrilledCheese39
1 year 5 months ago

Hahaha. You aren’t getting Gregory Polanco for Nick Franklin. Adding Smoak really doesn’t do anything. We have Lambo that should be just as good as him. Polanco is untouchable along with Tallion.

jjs91
1 year 5 months ago

neal huntington would also have to be injured though.

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

The Pirates are hoping Brad Miller gets injured so they can send Barmes for Taijun Walker.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think they will be able to resign Hardy Rabbitov. not Duquette’s fault, but Angelos pulling back the purse strings after he spent on Cruz and Jimenez.

Getting Franklin would be a price/salary savings for a few years, only 1y of service, but he’s another Boras guy.

Edit:
Can move Franklin around the IF also, wouldn’t necessarily have to move machado back to SS, Schoop off of 2b. All 3 are versatile.

FlowLikeH2O
1 year 5 months ago

It will come down to the fact that Hardy is a good SS that will probably rather play SS somewhere else than move for Machado in Baltimore.

Rabbitov
1 year 5 months ago

Its an interesting point, but who knows. I would definitely want Franklin the player, but wouldn’t want to block Schoop in the process.

macdice
macdice
1 year 5 months ago

Nick Franklin for Nelson Cruz

Tony Matias
1 year 5 months ago

The Mariners are going to be no more than a 73-75 win team this year and if Franklin is traded, all I can say to Jack is… polish up your resume buddy, ’cause you’re outta here.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

Why not trade Franklin? His two positions are SS/2B and he is blocked at both of those for the next 6+ years. He currently still has some trade value, but if you burn up his control riding the bench or let him rot in the minors, you won’t be able to trade him. It’s not like the M’s don’t have holes that Franklin can help them fill in trade.

Kelly Waters
1 year 5 months ago

Franklin is one of the young position players that Seattle has that I DONT want them to give up. I’d rather see us trade Miller, personally. I really think he’s got great potential to be a really great player.

bobbybaseball
1 year 5 months ago

Since when is a .225/.303/.389 line considered “solid”?

DogleggedWalnut
1 year 5 months ago

M’s can trade Franklin because we got a bunch of young guys coming up that can play the middle infield. Chris Taylor is coming up as a SS but can always move to 2B. DJ Petersen can also play 1B instead of Cano. We have options is what I’m saying. Franklin is incredibly expendable now and the M’s need to trade him for some OF power. Get a RF/CF power bat that can hit 4th/5th and I’d be happy. Obviously not just Franklin in the trade, but something that included Franklin and some young pitching could go a long way.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

M’s fans have grossly overrated Franklin and the return that he would bring. He didn’t hit well last year in MLB. He struck out too much and didn’t walk enough. He is a below average defender with no speed.

You want a corner bat who can hit 4th or 5th? Franklin is the 3rd piece throw-in for that guy, not the main piece.

trenigro
1 year 5 months ago

He walked 10.2% of the time, hit for nice middle infield power, Has the tools to easily be a plus plus defensive 2B (or below avg SS), and has plenty of speed (just isn’t a burner). The K% was the big problem last year but it was also his first cup of coffee in the bigs. His swing mechanics and contact rates suggest that he’s not going to have major strike out issues in the future as he gets more reps.

Franklin is no Mike Trout but he is a solid prospect with value. He’s not some bust just because he slashed .225/.303/.382 in his first 412 PAs as a 22 year old rookie.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

I disagree. No one, outside of M’s fans, thinks he is anything more than below average defensively at 2B. So SS is out of the questions and he won’t hit enough for 1B, 3B or the OF. No speed…don’t even try to argue that.

he struck out in 27.4% of his plate appearances! He may very well be a AAAA guy who can’t play good defense, can’t steal bases and strikes out too much.

Maybe he’s not…but the risk is all on the M’s because they don;t have anywhere to play him. If he goes to AAA and doesn’t hit, they won;t be able to get anything for him. They don;t have any leverage here and should move him now for whatever they can get.

Drew
1 year 5 months ago

you haven’t done much research into Nick Franklin if you can’t read his stats from the minors up to his first stint in majors last year. Plus, watch him – if you have any ability to identify talent it isn’t hard to miss watching this kid. Nice swing, solid contact, great instincts, plays hard.

lee cousins
1 year 5 months ago

Franklin presents a dilemma, to keep him is to find a place for him in this case not so easy,umm…. maybe at some point in the outfield like Ackerly if that’s your choice then he will need some time to develop, but still… does he fit well there? I’m not convince he does, and what about a utility player? swell….. only now we have one, I know,… what how about first base, that continues to be an Achilles heel… or has been for some time but just maybe that will change this year, we can only hope, besides what are we to do with Montero….nope I think it’s to bad we can’t find a place for him on the team as things stand will either trade him or send him down leave him there till the right deal comes along or if some injury happens he might be back, the possibilities of him sticking around don’t seem hardly a reality.

SportsLover
1 year 5 months ago

The Mariners and their fans are really pushing to trade Franklin. All of this talking up his play reminds me of a used car salesman who comes on strong to sell the lemon off the car lot…no, thanks. He’s that good, you keep him.

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

The media coverage started with reports that other teams were interested in Nick Franklin, not that the Mariners wanted to trade Franklin.

The Mariners may well keep the barely 23-year-old Franklin at Triple A Tacoma where the switch-hitter can learn other positions, such as the outfield, and give his club an added year of team control.

The_Unnatural
1 year 5 months ago

In fact the reports are that the M’s are asking a lot for Franklin.

Drew
1 year 5 months ago

we’re aren’t the ones that trade him, we’re told through media outlets and the obvious that Cano just took his spot so he’s either going to AAA or we trade him. I’m sure you’re team has had players blocked that you’d like to keep but simply just need to trade. I’d love to keep Franklin but unfortunately, he will help the M’s best if we trade him and bring back either a ml ready SP or a young CF. I think we will keep him in AAA if we don’t get a fair return – he’s a hell of a prospect.

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

Oliver and ZiPS project a positive defensive value for Nick Franklin in 2014, presumably at second base, while Steamer projects a negative defensive value:

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=10166&position=2B

Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 17.5 for Franklin, who turned 23 last week. Projections in (and outside) baseball represent an imprecise science but the Oliver projections are known for their translation of minor league stats to major league stats:

link to hardballtimes.com

Anyone can produce anecdotal evidence to support their projections, but I prefer the empircal bases of the Oliver projections. Still, the anecdotal evidence can be fun. Try this example:

Dustin Pedroia entered the 2006 season as a 22-year-old ranked No. 77 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list.

Nick Franklin entered the 2013 season as a 22-year-old ranked No. 79 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list.

At the time of their rankings, Pedroia and Franklin each had played a significant percentage of his minor league games at shortstop, but questions lingered about each player’s ability to remain at shortstop.

Pedroia and Franklin each split the season of his ranking between Triple A and the major leagues. Here are their stats:

DP 06 AAA 493 PA, .305/.384/.426/.810
NF 13 AAA 177 PA, .324/.440/.472/.912

DP 06 MLB 98 PA, .191/.258/.303/.561, OPS+ 42
NF 13 MLB 412 PA, .225/.303/.382/.686, OPS+ 96

Again, anecdotal evidence has little predictive value, and I prefer the empirically based Oliver projections, but I found this comparison interesting.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

I hear the Mariners are in need of OF help. The Rays have Kevin Kiermaier who is a blocked, MLB ready, soon to be 24 yo CF who Oliver projects to be worth 24.6 WAR over the next 5 years. Since he will be making the league min over the next 3 years, he would be one of the most valuable OFs in all of baseball. I would expect you to be prepared to open up the farm to get this stud. You should start with Taijuan Walker and then add from there Mariner fans. Let me hear your proposals.

orangeoctober
1 year 5 months ago

O’s have a ton of players without any options left. If they can move some of them and get back something more useful, I’m all for it.

orangeoctober
1 year 5 months ago

although schoop seems kinda ready to come up to the bigs this year and he’s the top position player prospect for the Orioles, so I dunno how motivated they are here

SportsLover
1 year 5 months ago

Hmmm… .225 batting average, not good even for an infielder.

FOmeOLS
1 year 5 months ago

You’ve mentioned that in several comments. Can you tell me why?
Franklin doesn’t hit apparently, and what I’ve read about his defense is that it is average at best.
Why are people so high on him?

Guest
1 year 5 months ago

do you really think everyone needs to here you restating what ‘Oliver projects for Nick Franklin’ one more time… dude, take your meds and chill out.

paqza
1 year 5 months ago

He hits, and he’ll hit. He hasn’t hit like a stud in the Majors yet, but he’s already hitting better than the average shortstop with a huge ceiling. Guys that can stick at shortstop while switch-hitting, flashing some power, and a bit of speed while hitting for a .360+ OBP are extremely valuable.

harmony55
1 year 5 months ago

I recommend that you read about the Oliver projections:

link to hardballtimes.com

Enjoy.

craig
1 year 5 months ago

Franklin is not that good. He is below average at 2B defensively and cannot play anywhere else regularly. The M’s have no leverage. They don;t have anywhere to play him and he didn’t hit last year. If he goes to AAA and doesn’t hit they will get nothing for him. They need to move him now for whatever they can get.

FOmeOLS
1 year 5 months ago

Thank you very much, I enjoyed reading this initial article. I also look forward to reading more and investigating more.
However, even though future projections are based on past experience, and are not meaningless, the fact is that it is not at all clear that Franklin would be a substantial step up. or even a step up at all from the second baseman that the Orioles currently possess.
And Buck Showalter puts a huge emphasis on defense, and Franklin’s defense is apparently average at best.

orangeoctober
1 year 5 months ago

i wouldnt put a massive amount of faith in a 5 year projection either

paqza
1 year 5 months ago

You couldn’t be further off. He’s always been a stud prospect, has put up video game numbers in the Minors, scouts say he looks good at SS right now in Spring Training, and the Tigers, Orioles, Mets, and Rays are all in on him. The Mariners don’t have to accept anything – they can just stash him in AAA if they want to. They can hold onto him for quite a while. SSs with plus+plus bats don’t come cheap.