The Nick Franklin rumors just won’t die. After all, why would they? The Seattle Mariners have a logjam at shortstop, and they also have the potential for too many outfielders and designated hitters. Someone has to go.
Teams have already been mentioned, but nothing has gotten done. The New York Mets have been discussed, as have the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles. Now, the Detroit Tigers are apparently making a “serious run” at Franklin after Jose Iglesias was lost to injury.
You have to love these words and phrases, right? “Serious run,” “interested,” and “exploring” are go-to phraseology for these sorts of stories. The problem is that this language also tells us that it may be difficult to get a deal done.
This is just a hunch, but I don’t believe the Tigers deal is going to get done for the same reason other transactions have not occurred. Nick Franklin may have a bright future and the ever-elusive “upside,” but he is an unproven quantity. He is not a “can’t-miss prospect” or a “once-in-a-generation” player.
Franklin is a solid youngster with potential, but teams are not going to give up established stars or other “top” prospects when they are not sure about whether they will get a good return on their investment. Iglesias is hurt, but he is still going to be around. If the Tigers pay a high price for Franklin, they are essentially making a personnel decision with a long-term impact.
Maybe a deal with Detroit gets done, but it would not be shocking if Franklin started the year at Triple-A Tacoma. There are too many questions, and right now it doesn’t seem like the Mariners have enough leverage.