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Displaced by Robinson Cano, Mariners demote Nick Franklin back to the minors

Mar 28, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

Nick Franklin AP

Nick Franklin showed enough promise as a rookie second baseman for the Mariners last season that he seemed set as the team’s long-term answer there, but then they signed Robinson Cano for $240 million.

That knocked Franklin out of the second base picture and forced him into a competition with Brad Miller to start at shortstop, which is a position where he’s stretched defensively. Miller won that battle and now, instead of keeping Franklin around in a part-time role the Mariners demoted him back to Triple-A.

Franklin played 102 games in the majors last year and prior to making his MLB debut in late May he smacked around Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .324 batting average and .912 OPS. He also hit well this spring with a .777 OPS in 17 games. In other words, if not for the Cano signing Franklin would still be in the majors. Instead now he’s back in the Pacific Coast League and will play shortstop there while trade rumors no doubt continue to swirl.

  1. echech88 - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Better to stash him there and have insurance for Miller than take a bad deal. All it will take is one contender to lose their 2B or SS to make it happen.

  2. pyleketerson - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Good move. Give him his AB’s instead of riding the pine. He’ll get another shot…with the M’s or elsewhere.

  3. hsven1887 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    It would be hilarious if the Yankees came for him. The Mariners signing a big name on a big contract from the Yankees, the Yankees a talent in return to fill the void left behind – the world standing on its head. ;)

    (not really suggesting that the Yankees should try that, I just find the idea absurdly funny)

  4. spudchukar - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Sucks for Franklin, in the short term, but soon he along with all the rest of MLB, will be witnessing his talents on the Big Stage. Good on the Mariners for holding out for his worth. No sense rushing into an undesirable deal just because they have a boon of talent at the second base spot. At AAA he can sharpen his tools, showcase his stuff, and wait for the right opportunity. I am sure those consoling words won’t mean much to the very young infielder, but he is too talented and has shown too much to be ignored long.

  5. jdillydawg - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Franklin’s a good player, I think he’ll wind up doing well. I didn’t realize shortstop was that much of a stretch for him. I saw them play in Peoria earlier and while I was impressed with Miller’s offensive skills, I didn’t think he was that much stronger defensively.

    But hey, my four days of watching probably don’t make me an expert scout…

  6. dartmouthstevens - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Um. There is a team desperate for a 2B. They lost a good one recently. I’d love to see the Yankee’s trade for Franklin. Can you say ‘field day for media’? Sure, I knew you could.

  7. denny65 - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Hang on, Nick, Jack Z will make a bad trade any day now and you’ll soon be packing the Samsonite.

    Count on it. It’s what Jack Z does best.

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