Super-utility man Nick Franklin, 26, was hitting .195/.268/.317 when he was designated for assignment earlier this week by the Milwaukee Brewers. Not exactly a dazzling star line. The former 2009 first round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners (two picks after Mike Trout) was acquired by the Angels on Thursday from the Brew Crew for a player to be named later or cash. He added to the club’s 25-man roster on Friday. Jefry Marte was sent down.
The reasoning behind this is unclear. However, one can argue that something else may be in the works. And considering Franklin’s age, it could also be another Chone Figgins/Maicer Izturis-type move where they get a young, versatile player who may or may not be able to play everyday, but will assigned a more specific role and perhaps that will help Franklin utilize his skills better.
There is reason to believe that can happen, as the switch-hitter slashed .270/.328/.443 last season with the Tampa Bay Rays in 60 games. For whatever reason, the Rays DFA’d him and he moved on to Milwaukee. Now he’s in Anaheim with three years of arbitration still ahead of him.
This could mean Danny Espinosa‘s days are numbered. It could also be a sign of a looming trade. A Cliff Pennington/Nick Franklin platoon would actually be an upgrade at second base this point.
Whatever the case, this is another one of those Halos moves where they take on a failed prospect who is still young and find a way to maximize their value based on their ability at the Major League level, and how they mesh with the organizational philosophy. This is something the Angels are famous around the industry for under Mike Scioscia‘s tenure. The only question is whether this one will work or not. We’ll see!