Nick Franklin Rumors
Second baseman/shortstop Nick Franklin has been called up and will join the Mariners today, tweets Ryan Divish of The News Tribune. Franklin will have to be added to the team's 40-man roster; he'll take the place of a minor leaguer, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The news comes on the heels of Carlos Triunfel's season debut, which occurred Friday. Triunfel's one start came at second base, though both Mariners prospects can play both middle infield positions. Former first-rounder Dustin Ackley, meanwhile, has limped to a .205/.266/.250 line and will join Jesus Montero at Triple-A, according to Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710.
Franklin, 22, was drafted 27th overall by the Mariners out of high school in 2009. He was hitting .324/.440/.472 in 177 Triple-A plate appearances, a vast improvement from his production at that level last year. Franklin's rankings on top 100 prospect lists prior to the season: 69th by ESPN's Keith Law, 79th by Baseball America, and 43rd by MLB.com. BA ranked him fifth among Mariners prospects prior to the season, noting, "He profiles as a solid regular who could play in a few All-Star Games."
If he stays up all year, Franklin will accumulate 126 days of big league service, making Super Two arbitration eligibility possible after the 2015 season. It's unknown whether that amount of service will put Franklin within the top 22% of the two-to-three class at that point. Super Two players go to arbitration four times instead of the usual three.
10:50pm: Taijuan Walker would have been the fourth player in the trade package to the D'Backs, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Walker, a 20-year-old right-hander, was ranked as the 20th-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America prior to the 2012 season, though he struggled pitching at the Double-A level last year.
7:40pm: The Mariners offered a four-player package to the D'Backs, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Arizona would have received Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor and one of Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen or James Paxton.
6:06 pm: Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton invoked his limited no-trade clause to reject an agreed-upon deal between the D'Backs and Mariners that would have sent Upton to Seattle, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The M's were prepared to give up "a package of young talent" in the trade, a return that Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has heard was "substantial" (Twitter link).
Though several teams have been linked to Upton over the last two seasons, the Mariners seem to be the first to propose a deal that has gotten the D'Backs to agree to move the 25-year-old outfielder. As Rosenthal/Morosi note, the trade rejection could be gamesmanship by either Upton or the D'Backs --- Upton could be trying to control where he ends up, or the Snakes are sending the message that if Upton wants to leave Arizona, his only option is Seattle. The Mariners, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are the four teams on Upton's current no-trade list, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
Rival teams say the Mariners have made many players untouchable in trades, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. However, a Seattle official tells Rosenthal the team is “wide open” on possible deals.
The list of untouchable players includes Felix Hernandez, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, and prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Nick Franklin, Rosenthal reports. Some executives question whether Ackley and Seager should be off-limits at this stage in their careers.
Mariners such as Jason Vargas, Kevin Millwood, Brandon League, Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan could draw interest this summer. GM Jack Zduriencik will be expected to consider trade offers for some veterans given Seattle's 36-51 record.
The Dodgers signed Garret Anderson exactly one year ago today. Earlier this week, Anderson retired as the all-time leader in a number of offensive categories for L.A.'s other team. Here are today's links...
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti explained to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Tribe likes Matt Lawson's versatility and defense. They acquired the Double-A utility player for Aaron Laffey in a trade with the Mariners yesterday.
- One of Lawson's former minor league teammates, Nick Franklin, has switched agents and is now a client of the Boras Corporation, according to Conor Glassey of Baseball America (on Twitter).
- Another Scott Boras client, Tommy Hanson, had his contract renewed by the Braves, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). When teams renew players' contracts, it means the sides did not agree to terms.
- Jerry Crasnick catches up with former can't-miss prospects Jeremy Hermida, Lastings Milledge and Jeff Francoeur in an enjoyable piece at ESPN.com.
Jim Callis of Baseball America reports the Mariners have agreed to terms with first-round pick Nick Franklin. He was handed a $1.28MM signing bonus, close to $100K more than MLB's recommendation for his slot. The high school shortstop was selected 27th overall in June.
17 of the 32 first-round draft picks have now signed. Keep it locked on MLBTR as Monday's deadline looms and visit our first-round tracker page for a quick refresher.