On Monday some rumors began surfacing regarding the Seattle Mariners shopping middle infielder Nick Franklin. Considering that the Mets current shortstop is Ruben Tejada, it didn’t take long for thoughts of a potential Mets/Mariners deal to begin surfacing. Knowing that the supposed strength of the Mets organization is pitching, those of us in New York started thinking about what level of pitcher was a fair price for Franklin, who has been a consistent Top 100 prospect. If you scanned the Mets blogosphere, it was unanimous that Noah Syndergaard had to be off limits. After that, opinions varied, and I didn’t get any official numbers, but it appeared to me that a majority of folks thought Rafael Montero was too high a price to pay. That got me to thinking, what did the Mariner bloggers think about our players? Who did they think would help the Mariners? With the help of Google, I have cut out the responses from three of the major Seattle blogs. I found the answers fair (nobody suggested the Mets should have to part with Syndergaard) and not exactly what I expected.
First up is from Scott Weber at Lookout Landing. Scott had some interest in both Rafael Montero and Juan Lagares. To be fair to the author, he indicated that if both were included, Seattle would have to add something besides Franklin on their end.
“Lagares would fill a tremendous need for the Mariners, whose current defensive outfield alignment is a bunch of hot garbage, likely about to get worse if they bring back Kendrys Morales. Having a stud to cover acres in center could go a long way in assisting lesser fielders in the corners.
Any deal structured around Nick Franklin seems like it would have to include at least one of Montero or Lagares, and the latter would start a cascading fallout of roster shuffle.
What do you think? Is Rafael Montero enough, or do you want both?”
My next stop was a post from Todd Pheifer over at Emerald City Swagger. Todd was not especially interested in trading Franklin at all, but did lament the state of the Mariner outfield.
“In addition, there is the issue of what type of player the Mariners should ask for in return. Could the Mariners acquire yet another pitching prospect? Or, should the Mariners push for a player who could bolster the less-than-exciting group of outfielders that will likely patrol Safeco Field in 2014?
Ultimately, the Mariners should not move Franklin just to get him off the roster. Seattle should take their time, let him come off the bench, and perhaps experiment with him in the outfield. Would his defense be any worse than Corey Hart or Logan Morrison and their bad knees?”
The last blog I looked at is Sodo Mojo, and an article written by Dan Hughes. Hughes was certainly not thinking about pitching.
“So what can the M’s get from New York?
OF Juan Lagares comes to mind. He is a true center fielder that is under club control until 2020. His dWAR in 2013 was 3.5 compared to the -1.1 of Michael Saunders or the -0.3 of Dustin Ackley.
This is a team that needs to improve on defense. Lagares would give him that. His slash line of .242/.281/.352 is nothing to write home about. But he was typically used in the lower half of the order. Move him to the leadoff or No. 2 spot and he could really flourish.
Stay tuned as more on this story develops.”
Certainly not a full poll of Mariner Nation, but even with this limited sample size, I found it surprising that the Mariners might be more interested in Lagares than anyone else on the Mets. Ultimately only Jack Zduriencik knows what type of player he is seeking for Franklin, or how badly he would like to make a deal at this time.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is not going to be Jake deGrom — and root like hell to be proven wrong.