BY SPNW Staff 03:03PM 03/28/2014

Franklin optioned, Mariners set 25-man roster

The Mariners made a number of moves Friday to reach the 25-man roster limit for Opening Day. Among the notable cuts was INF Nick Franklin.

Nick Franklin played in 102 games for the Mariners last season, but failed to make the big league roster out of spring training. He’ll start the year in Tacoma. / Wiki Commons

The Mariners largely solidified their 25-man roster Friday by making several moves, principally optioning INF Nick Franklin to AAA Tacoma while also sending down former starters Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan and relievers Lucas Luetge, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Zach Miner and Ramon Ramirez. The Mariners also designated SS Carlos Triunfel and OF Xavier Avery for assignment.

Seattle’s roster stands at 28. Starting pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker and reliever Stephen Pryor will be on the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday’s roster deadline. With Opening Day Monday in Anaheim, the Mariners roster looks like this:

  • Starters (5): Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, Roenis Elias, Chris Young.
  • Relievers (7): RHPs Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Hector Noesi; LHPs Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel.
  • Catchers (2): Mike Zunino, John Buck.
  • Infielders (6): Justin Smoak, Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Willie Bloomquist, Logan Morrison.
  • Outfielders (5): Dustin Ackley, Abraham Almonte, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart, Stefen Romero.

Franklin saw action in 102 games for the Mariners last season and performed reasonably well, hitting 12 home runs but with a .225 batting average. But he lost his job at second base over the winter when the club signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. Switched back to shortstop, his original position, he battled Brad Miller for the spot all spring, but Miller won the job outright with a .439 batting average and 17 RBIs in Cactus League play.

With Iwakuma and Walker on the disabled list, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton and Roenis Elias, a rookie, will fill in behind No. 1 starter Felix Hernandez. The No. 5 rotation slot goes to veteran Chris Young, 34, inked off the discard heap Thursday after his release by the Washington Nationals.

Iwakuma, No. 3 in the Cy Young vote last season, and Walker are expected to rejoin the club by mid-to-late April.

The Mariners added Beimel and Elias to the 40-man roster Friday, moves that resulted in Triunfel and Avery being cut. The 36-year-old Biemel, an 11-year veteran, pitched for Pittsburgh last season. The Mariners signed him as a free agent Jan. 17.

Seattle will play its first seven games on the road (three in Anaheim, four in Oakland) before returning to Safeco Field April 8 to face the Angels.


  • RadioGuy

    God forbid the M’s should’ve tried Franklin in the OF or kept him at 2B and moved Cano to the OF, where they could use a power hitter with a little speed…at least they kept Hart, who has as much mobility as a Pioneer Square totem pole, and Almonte (he of the .183 BA and .253 OBP in Arizona this spring).

    • jafabian

      There’s no way Cano would be moved. He’s one the top players in the game and he’s a solid 2B. Moving Franklin would be like moving ARod to OF before he came up. Or Junior to 1B when he came up. If anything if Miller doesn’t work out at SS there’s an option at AAA to replace him. Or they can trade Franklin for the leadoff hitter they need. Cano can’t drive in runs if no one’s on base.

  • lee cousins

    Couple of things here, now that Franklin has been sent down, and was said to play short stop.. some second base, and little if any outfield seems to enhance the likeliness that Franklin will be traded at some point this spring.
    on another note if Smoak can’t find himself this time around, it’s time for a trade replace him with Romero I think he would do alright given he breaks thru, and hit’s M.L.B.

  • Jeff Shope

    willie bloomquist ? seriously?