The Seattle Mariners are still actively scouting the New York Mets according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. He writes that the M’s have been religiously attending Mets games, but that on Monday they doubled their scouting contingent in Port St. Lucie.
It’s no secret that Seattle is shopping shortstop Nick Franklin and MLB Trade Rumors suspects they are readying a proposal for the Mets and that today was about “determining a fair asking price.” I agree with them.
Seattle is presumably looking for a young pitching prospect in return of similar value. Obviously, Noah Syndergaard and even Rafael Montero are off the table, but can the Mets tempt the Mariners with a pair of lesser pitching prospects like a Jacob deGrom and Michael Fulmer?
The Mets have no shortage of young arms with high upside, but are they ready to move one or two of them to get the upgrade they need at short?
Sandy Alderson continues to say that he’s quite happy with Ruben Tejada at short and that we shouldn’t expect any changes to the roster between now and Opening Day. However, I’m praying that it’s just a bluff, and we do know that he has acknowledged interest in Franklin as recently as last month.
The 22-year old Franklin batted .225/.303/.382 with 12 home runs, 20 doubles, 42 walks, 45 RBI and a 2.3 WAR in 412 plate appearances last season. Obviously that’s quite an offensive upgrade over anything that Tejada can produce.
The experts say that Franklin won’t stick at shortstop and that his fringe to average arm and range make him better suited for second base. But can he be any worse than Tejada who is also a second baseman albeit masquerading as a shortstop for the Mets the last three seasons?
For what it’s worth, Franklin is having a great Spring for the M’s batting .333/.368/.667 with three doubles, one home run, four RBIs and a 1.035 OPS in 18 at-bats.