Seattle Mariners’ shortstop and top infield prospect Nick Franklin will start the 2014 season in Triple-A with the Tacoma Rainiers.
The team’s decision to sign Robinson Cano left Franklin in no man’s land entering the spring, as he had just switched to second base last season. Forced to compete with Brad Miller at shortstop, Franklin did not get the starting job and will now go get at-bats in Triple-A.
The Mariners optioned Franklin to Triple-A Tacoma as part of a series of personnel moves that virtually finalized the 25-man roster for the March 31 opener against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.
McClendon said Franklin will play shortstop ‘predominantly’ for the Rainiers, who open their schedule April 3 against Albuquerque (Dodgers) at Cheney Stadium.”
This decision, which seemed inevitable, should only increase the efforts from the Mariners to find a trade partner for Franklin. The switch-hitting infielder batted .225/.303/.382 as a rookie in 2013 while showing some of the pop that makes him an intriguing prospect (12 home runs).
There are teams with needs in the infield, namely those two franchises in the Big Apple, so it might be that Franklin’s stay in Triple-A is only temporary until a trade partner can be found.