Nick Franklin Deal: the Moral Compass
Get back the best player in the deal. Especially this time


Input / Output:

  • Jon Heyman reports that a deal will "likely" happen soon
  • The Rays and O's need Franklin at 2B; the Mets (more dubiously) are thinking about him as a SS
  • The Jays "should" need Franklin.  The same is true for several other teams
  • Franklin is a perfectly desirable starting 2B for the above teams NOW, and
  • Franklin has "sexy" -- All-Star -- upside
  • Oliver projects him (we hear) for 17.5 WAR over his first 5 years (compare Adam Jones' 12.5 WAR in 5 years)
  • Franklin is, as we speak, having an exciting spring training (especially from scouts' perspective)


Mainframe Crunch:

Recall that when the Mariners gave up a 6-year CF for Erikkk Bedard, it was sold in Seattle as a tragedy of Biblical proportions.  There's very little doubt that within the industry Franklin's value, now, exceeds Adam Jones' back in 2008.

The fans don't disagree.  The Orioles' boards, for example, are slobbering a lot more over Nick Franklin now, then they did for Adam Jones back when the M's gave him up in 2008.

The M's gave up a 6-year CF, and change, for a fragile ace who led the American League in xFIP the year before.  This was a manufactured tragedy; if Jack Zduriencik sloughs off Nick Franklin in a careless deal, that will become an actual tragedy.  

Bavasi's move was presented as brainless, but was actually the proposal of the M's lead sabermetrician of the time, our old amigo Mat Olkin.  Jack Zduriencik dealing Nick Franklin for a journeyman SP -- to compete with other starters for a job -- that would actually be brainless.

This, gentlemen, would in reality BE the feebleminded blunder that the blogs inaccurately tried to tell us Bedard was.  I'd rather not experience it.


=== Three Scenarios ===

1.  To the extent Zduriencik trades down in the draft, as it were -- he gives up Franklin for players who will come in and COMPETE for jobs, to that extent he will prove that the Fister train wreck was no accident.  A lot of people have been muttering that Zduriencik is "in over his head."  This, coming after five years' worth of experience in the chair, would be the most ominous thing I've seen to support that idea.

2.  To the extent that Zduriencik trades up -- he packages Franklin with other stuff, and gets back the best player in the whole deal, to that extent he will have SSI's thanks.  We know how much that means to him.

3.  To the extent that Zduriencik trades sideways -- Franklin for a top-100 MLB starting pitcher who can contribute right this second -- he might have achieved a nice little advance in roster configuration.  IFF that pitcher makes 120, not 30, starts for us.


So, gentlemen, when you ask "Who do the Orioles have that we would want?"  The search isn't complicated.  What SP's do they have who are (1) better than Erasmo Ramirez, and who (2) have 4-5 years club control, and that (3) they will cough up for the upgrade between Jonathan Schoop and Nick Franklin?

I'm not super enthused about Wei-Yin Chin, at first glance, but that's the kind of deal you could be talking about.  Is Chin really assured of staying ahead of K-Pax, Taijuan, Erasmo ... and Maurer and Tyler Pike and everybody else?  Such that you don't mind it when Nick Franklin starts racking up 4 WAR a year for the Orioles?

To me, you go after a Samardzija deal or a Price deal or something of that nature ... or you put Nick Franklin in AAA.  I'm not giving him up for a 2014 starter who ain't gonna be able to win a 2015 job.


SSI's compass on this deal couldn't be simpler.  A trade is "likely" soon.  It better not be another Fister deal, because the club-controls Nick Franklin is probably gonna be better than the club-controls Adam Jones was.  Maybe a lot better.

Make real sure you're happy with what you're getting back, dude.  He better be in our rotation in 2016.


Dr D







But that sort of highly touted prospect would suffice IMHO along with a short term stop-gap for 2014 for sweetener.
Price would be nice, but I am thinking that's that really leaves me nervous...there's not an obvious target out there......makes me fear Z will be careless.

topherdig's picture

I say only get upgrade from Franklin who is OF. It is unlikely that a SP would be better than Ramirez, Pax, or Walker...Hold out for OF...send to Tacoma if necessary and turn him into a Zobrist

muddyfrogwater's picture

I wonder if the M's would be interested in Dylan Bundy as part of a package from the O's. Yea, he's coming off TJ surgury, but so what, it's a standard baseball procedure these days. It seems one in every five baseball players are walking around with a new ligament in their elbow. Bundy should be playing bigs next year. I think you ask for a little more on top of that though because the injury situation makes it not quite a sideways deal. Ask for Spare parts perhaps?
A RH 4th outfield type type, and a AAAA 25 to 27 yr. old lefty starting pitcher with options to stash in and out of Tacoma for the season Would be useful. It may take a multi-team deal to fulfill those needs, but it seems to fill in the gaps. Bundy may offer more for less.


(did I say 100%) agree, Doc. Why sign Robinson Cano and then deal your most valuable MLB-ready spare part (because of high upside AND 12 home runs from a glove position in less than a full rookie season) for someone who may or may not pan out, or for someone who brings you a single year of average-ness?! We already HAVE a ton of guys who MIGHT pan out. What we need is PANS! As you say, get the best player in the deal and I'm in.


Come on guys... what would you trade Hultzen for today? Or if it turns out Taijuan needs minor shoulder surgery next month, what would you trade him for?
Would you accept back Michael Choice - OF Texas, or Chris Owings - SS Arizona, or Matt Davidson - 3B White Sox, or Hak-Ju Lee - SS Rays???
I highly doubt the majority of you would trade either HIGHLY TOUTED injured pitcher for any of these kids who should make the MLB this year and NONE that have PROVEN much of anything in the brief call up. Most will want a bit more.
Now they all could be worthy, and possibly the injured pitchers NEVER recover, but those are the risks you would have to take.
I am MORE than willing to trade for Bundy, and even add something - be it a Sanchez or Pike.... but if Bundy never recovers... will Jack take that kind of risk??

muddyfrogwater's picture

If the MLB player that you would like to have for this season isn't available then go for the reload move. There's nothing wrong with trying to perpetuate a constant reload season after season. Hultzen proves that you can't have too much pitching.

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