Sep 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin (20) bats during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Franklin as a Possible Trade Target for the Royals

Sep 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin (20) makes a play against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Mariners 12-2. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The moves made during the offseason can set about a chain reaction. The Royals offer to Carlos Beltran may have caused the Yankees to sign Jacoby Ellsbury, as they may have felt that Beltran would be returning to Kansas City. In turn, the Yankees signing of Ellsbury may leave it difficult for them to resign Robinson Cano, with the Mariners having the largest offer on the table for the second baseman. Just like dominoes, one move sets about other reactions.

I swear there is a Royals take in this, just be patient.

Should the Mariners actually pry Cano away in free agency, that would leave the Mariners with a surplus of second basemen. Although he ended the season playing center, Dustin Ackley initially reached the majors as a second baseman and has been solid defensively around the bag. Then there is Nick Franklin, who in his rookie season, placed among the top second basemen according to defensive metrics. Yet, this is Robinson Cano – neither is going to supplant him in the lineup.

However, the Mariners could still use help in the lineup and bullpen. Meanwhile, the Royals could potentially use a second baseman and could potentially have pieces to move. With Franklin blocked in Seattle, could he be a possible target for the Royals?

With Nick Franklin, the Royals would get a player who has displayed flashes of power, hitting twelve home runs last season. However, he did struggle at the plate, producing at only a .225/.303/.382 batting line, while walking only 42 times against 113 strikeouts. Would he really be that much better than what Christian Colon or Emilio Bonifacio could provide at second?

The possible reason why Franklin may be a better option than either is his age. At only 23 heading into next season, Franklin was able to hit with some power and show decent speed. As he develops, it may not be unreasonable to think that he could become a player capable of hitting approximately twenty home runs while stealing fifteen bases. If he can develop better plate discipline and make more consistent contact, Franklin could turn into a top second baseman.

However, that is part of the question if the Royals were to pursue Nick Franklin should he become available. While no prospect is a sure thing, Colon has a track record of making consistent contact and being a generally solid player. While he may not have the power and speed combination that Franklin could develop, Colon likely has a much higher floor than Franklin. Would the Royals be willing to take a risk on getting a possible breakout candidate, leaving Colon as a possible utility infielder? Or do they feel that Colon and Bonifacio could be enough to handle second base?

Should the mariners actually sign Robinson Cano, we may find out the answer to that question. In the meanwhile, although it does not affect the Royals just yet, those dominoes keep falling.

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Tags: Christian Colon Kansas City Royals Nick Franklin

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