The painful truth of sports (and life in general) is that no one can truly project the future and in this case the success of a young player. No one.
Nick Franklin could be a future star, or he could fizzle out at age 26.
Apparently, the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays are interested. Obviously more teams are better when it comes to trade possibilities. That is assuming these franchises are truly making phone calls.
This is yet another situation where short-term decisions may actually add confusion to the situation. Let’s assume the Mariners play Franklin in the early days of spring training in order to showcase his talent.
If Franklin plays well, the M’s may wonder whether he is the player that should be traded, or if Brad Miller should actually be moved. If Franklin plays poorly, interested teams may quickly let Jack Zduriencik’s calls go straight to voicemail.
Granted, spring training performances have to be taken with a very large grain of salt, but what else is there at this point?
The fear is that the Mariners will worry about a logjam and move Franklin for less than market value. It would not be shocking if the Mariners traded Franklin for two minor league pitchers that have “upside.” We’ve seen this movie before.
There is, of course, the reality that a team is not going to hand over a proven player for a prospect, unless the Mariners want to put together some sort of package. Franklin may have spent some quality time on lists of “top prospects,” but those lists are by definition an educated guess.
At some point, a decision has to be made. Trade him. Send him to AAA. Platoon him in the infield. Just don’t settle, Mariners.