Is a Trade Necessary? Yes
Like it or not, the Miller-Franklin runner-up needs to be cashed in


Bear two things in mind:

  • Middle infielders have great value relative to non-middle infielders, and middle infielders who can hit have perhaps the most value of all
  • Barring catastrophic injury, the Mariners have locked up one of their two middle-infield spots for the next 10 — ten! — seasons

In other words, every middle infielder under contract to the Seattle Mariners is playing for one vacancy.

Or, in other other words, there are 13-year-olds who won’t even get drafted by the Mariners until 2019 who will still be playing for one vacancy.   Well, probably … but you get the idea.


Full article here at Mariner Brainstorm.  Also, more on Gordon's draft favorite Michael Gettys.



The notion that Franklin could be kept as a Ben Zobrist type is interesting. All it would take would be an injury at 2B, 3B or SS to suddenly make him extremely important to have around. But if that injury doesn't happen, his talent and value are indeed wasted. One other consideration is that Brad Miller cannot yet be considered proven. What if he goes into a sophomore tailspin? Still, it's just another what if rather than what is.
The other important consideration for me is that if you ARE going to trade Franklin, use him as part of a package to get veteran help you really need, don't just flip him for more high upside unproven talent. I don't get that at ALL. We already have a pipeline of such players. What we don't have is a veteran RH OF'er who can play some defense and a reliable veteran starter after Felix and the injured Iwakuma.


Really the guy who makes Miller or Franklin "expendable" isn't really Miller (in the case where we trade Franklin) or Franklin (in the case where we trade Miller) but it is Taylor. If we think Taylor has the chops to play MLB SS then we have a surplus of those guys, in that case it makes great sense to roll Miller or Franklin (likely) into something we don't have a surplus of but only IF that something is of significant value.
I don't think Viciedo is of that kind of value, or Van Slyke, too, for that matter. (I think we could have had Van Slyke for less that that)
If Taylor is that kind of guy and if we can get something really purty for Franklin, I can see the way to the trade. But the return needs to be prom queen purty. Heck, it is just as likely that Franklin outhits Morrison this year as the other way around. If Morrison is our prime DH we could just use Franklin there and get the glove versatility that he brings. I would have no problem with that, either.
And I've long offered that Seager is actually a better trade option (or was) and would bring a better return AND that Franklin may be Seager's equal with the bat.
But if we can get a RH mashing bat for Franklin, or a real MLB-type arm, then I will cringe but agree to the saneness of the swap.
The return must be real purty, however, and Taylor must be a real MLB SS.


"The return must be real purty." On that I agree, and only my unfamiliarity with Taylor and my concern for this particular season mitigate against the idea that Taylor can be slid into Franklin's spot as a MIF alternative.
Me, I want the M's to turn Franklin-plus into something shiny. Ideally it would be part of a deal for Price or Stanton or Kemp (in which case "plus" become "plus-plus-plus" and one of those plus's may be something dear).


I've often asked myself what Billy Beane, a.k.a. Azog the Defiler, would do in a situation like this.  After thinking like an orc for a while, I think that Beane would trade Seager for a bunch of major league ready pitching prospects, and then he'd play Franklin at third until the Deej was ready.  Beane continually churns his roster, but young pitchers only go into his system and not out.  They never leave until free agency or they reach an all star game or two.  However, the main reason that Beane does this, is that he can't afford to let players reach arbitration.  The Mariners don't have that problem, and shouldn't replicate Beane's approach unless they can replicate his success at identifying excellent pitching prospects.  We're human beings.  We don't need to be axing our best players for a few wins.

IcebreakerX's picture

2001 was on the shoulders of McLemore and Javier, as much as a fresh Gar/Ichiro/Booneroids/Olerud/Cameron.
I don't particularly fret having Miller/Franklin on the bench.


I think we all believe something needs to happen to help the starting 25 get better now, but what many of us do not know is what that means.
Unfortunately, MOST teams are not going to trade you a starting player or pitcher that they plan on using right now... BECAUSE MOST GM's have developed and implemented a strategy and a few plans that help them accomplish their goals for this off season, and now they are ready to see this final plan go into effect... so any players available now are guys that are fluff - or at the very best unproven.
To further complicate matters, most teams are already up against the 40 man restriction, so adding several players at this time is highly unlikely... and I do believe the Mariners are in this predicament as well.
The show stopper I think though for the Mariners / Jack is that for some reason the league as a whole does not seem to value our minor league players as much as we do. Now this could be because of past performance of rookies, or lack of pedigree, or lack of qualities that other teams crave or others... but as with Franklin and almost everyone else in our farm system, I highly doubt Jack can reach an agreement with another GM for someone that can help this team TODAY at this late in the off season for the reasons stated above.


I've thought all offseason that Jack intended to wait for some shakeout from spring training, but as you say, that carries with it a big risk that you can't come up with what you want by the time the season starts. And once that happens, it's very hard to get anything significant until July.
Unfortunately, you're living up to your screen name.


HOWEVER... For some reason, this year, I just do not believe that this offense will be as near as bad as a lot of people think.
Specifically, I believe that:
Seager, Ackley and the catchers position will be much better than last season
Smoak, Saunders, Miller and one outfield position will be the same to slightly better
Cano's production will be at least as good as Ibanez and Morales by himself
If somehow we could just not get negative production in one OF position... hope, hope, hope...
This all equals up to a top 10 offense.
Now if the pitching were just healthy.... sorry, I had to rain again..

sliv's picture

Flip him for an outfielder that has the hit potential of franklin and Miller...... hmm or just make one of them an outfielder, I think Miller would be a sweet center fielder IMHO. It just seems that was the reason Jackie Z always liked drafting short stops because he said they are usually the best athletes on the field and should be able to play other positions if needed............... You guys are smarter than me I just happen to like both of them a lot and would hate to see either leave.

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