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Yankees trade target: Nick Franklin

The Seattle Mariners have three second basemen with the addition of Cano, so they might be looking to trade Nick Franklin away.

Otto Greule Jr

After the recent signing of Robinson Cano, the Mariners now have three second basemen. Since Cano will undoubtedly be their starter, it's possible that the Mariners will be interested in trading either Dustin Ackley or Nick Franklin.

Franklin was drafted in 2009 in the first round (27th overall) by the Mariners. The 22-year-old is a switch-hitter hailing from Florida. Prior to the draft, an AL scout compared Franklin to a "switch-hitting Michael Young" (so the Yankees could sign the actual 37-year-old Michael Young, or trade for a supposedly similar player 15 years his junior). Franklin started out playing shortstop, but spent most of 2013 playing second base. According to Baseball Prospectus, his arm and defense are better suited for 2B, which may explain the switch.

Dustin Ackley's struggles at second base last season led to a May 27 call up for Nick Franklin, who hit .324/.440/.472 over the course of 39 games played in Triple-A. Just three days after his major league debut, Franklin hit his first two home runs, breaking a Mariner record for having a two-homer game on only his fourth day in the big leagues (the previous record was six days held by Jose Cruz Jr). After being called up, Franklin went on to hit .225/.303/.382, with 12 HRs, and a 90 wRC+. He really fell off the grid during the month of August for whatever reason, putting up an abysmal .107/.194/.214. He was able to turn things around in September (.241/.355/.316), though he did not hit any home runs during that month. Of the 12 home runs that Franklin hit in the majors last season, 11 of them came from the left side. Ten of those were pulled to right field, which could bode well with the Yankees' short porch.

If the Mariners are interested in trading Franklin, then the question turns to whether the Yankees have any players that Seattle might want. Brett Gardner is the likeliest Yankee to be traded, although the team has said that they don't want to trade him. The Mariners just re-signed Franklin Gutierrez to play center field, but given his injury history (which includes, since 2011, an oblique strain, torn pectoral, concussion and injured hamstring), Seattle may be interested in a trade for Gardner. One year of Gardner might not be enough to net Franklin, though.

It sure would be something (I think "mean" and "kind of sad" might be what I'm looking for) if the Yankees did end up trading for a second baseman that the Mariners no longer need thanks to them having signed our homegrown player. If this trade did happen, then the Yankees could elect to give Franklin the chance at second and have Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson come in off the bench as needed. The Yankees could also switch between Roberts and Johnson and keep Franklin as insurance in case the injury bug of 2013 strikes again.

Would you like to see the Yankees trade away Gardner (plus anyone else) to get Franklin? Do you think that a trade for Franklin would result in him taking the starting job from Roberts and Johnson?