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Nick Franklin trade rumors: Mets will scout SS this spring, consider trade

New York is unsure of Franklin's glove at short, but they plan to evaluate him and decide on a trade before Opening Day.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets plan to scout Mariners' shortstop Nick Franklin this spring in an effort to decide whether or not to pursue him in a trade, according to John Harper of the New York Daily News.

The team is reportedly frustrated with Ruben Tejada, which led to speculation that they could decide to sign free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.

However, the Mariners' surplus of young infielders could be a more desirable alternative. Seattle is more likely to move Franklin than Brad Miller, who is projected to start at shortstop.

Last season, after Miller was called up to the majors, Seattle started him at short over Franklin due to his superior range in the field. Franklin, who turns 23 next week, hit .225/.303/.382 in 402 plate appearances last season with 12 home runs and six stolen bases, but he also struck out more than once a game.

Trading for Franklin would likely cost the Mets one of their upper-tier pitching prospects and perhaps, an outfielder like Juan Lagares as well. New York has Noah Syndergaard pushing his way to the top of their minor league system, but he isn't likely to be available to Seattle if the teams decide to begin negotiations. Rafael Montero could be a target. The Mets haven't had many other pitchers appear in top prospect lists this offseason, and the rest of their topflight talent is either unlikely to be moved -- like catcher Travis D'Arnuad -- or would create a further logjam in the infield -- like Wilmer Flores.

If New York and Seattle enter into trade talks, Franklin could be on his way to Citi Field before Opening Day, but a 23 year-old shortstop with the offensive projections he has won't come without a considerable return.