There have been some recent rumors that the Baltimore Orioles are interested in Seattle Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin. The Mariners are looking to deal Franklin, because they have a crowded middle infield, with top prospect Brad Miller and newly acquired Robinson Cano. With the uncertainty surrounding the Orioles’ second base position this spring, the Orioles and Mariners appear to be a good match. However, Franklin would not be a good acquisition by Baltimore, and he should be avoided.
While Franklin is a talented player, he carries a lot of risk. Franklin struggled during his rookie season, and he showed some warning signs at the plate. He hit .225 with a .686 OPS in 2013, and he struck out an alarming rate. Franklin accumulated 113 strikeouts in 103 games, so his ability to hit for a high average in the majors is questionable.
While it may appear like the Orioles have a weakness at second base, they already have a young and talented player of their own that is ready to contribute. Top prospect Jonathan Schoop has been impressive this spring, and he is strong offensively and defensively. With Schoop’s solid skill set across the board, it is hard to believe that Franklin would be a significant upgrade.
Franklin does have some upside, but he is not worth it for Baltimore. Not only can Schoop outperform Franklin, but the Orioles will also have to sacrifice a valuable piece to acquire him. It would be better off for the Orioles to stick with the options they have than to take an unnecessary chance on a risky and unproven player like Franklin.