By Brady Henderson
Nick Franklin is well aware of the speculation that he could be traded, and it's reached a point where the Mariners' infielder has come up with a stock answer to the daily questions about all the rumors.
What might happen is a trade that sends Franklin to one of the multiple teams who are reportedly interested. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Orioles, Mets and Rays have talked to the Mariners about acquiring Franklin. Heyman ranked him fourth in his list of the players who are most likely to be dealt during spring training.
Franklin, a first-round pick by Seattle in 2009, has been competing with Brad Miller to be the team's shortstop. With Robinson Cano locked in at second base, the assumption has been that Franklin would be the odd-man-out if he doesn't beat out Miller.
While general manager Jack Zduriencik acknowledged that there is interest in both players, he said there is no urgency to make a move with either.
"We're not forced to do anything," he told "Bob and Groz" on Wednesday. "I like both players a lot. You never know what could happen. All of the sudden someone twists an ankle, someone pulls a muscle – to have depth is good. But like any general manager your ears are wide open, so if someone comes talking and they talk to you about a proposal that makes a ton of sense then I think you have to listen.
"But we're not shopping either player. I don't have intentions of trading either guy, but part of my job is to listen to what people have to say when they call and I do that."
In the meantime, the speculation will continue and Franklin will do his best to ignore it.
"More importantly is just how I can handle it and what I can do to block it out," he said. "All I can do is play, and at the end of the day whatever happens happens because I can't control that."
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