Even with the best record in baseball and having already recently acquired starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Oakland Athletics are still looking to improve, even if it means trading within the division.
Billy Beane and the A's are interested in Seattle Mariners' infield prospect Nick Franklin, reports the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.
Second base is thought to be the A's biggest weakness on a relatively well-rounded roster. Acquiring Franklin would push Eric Sogard, who's hitting just .194 with no home runs and 10 RBI in 64 games, out of the everyday lineup and back into an infield utility role.
Franklin was expected to compete for the starting second baseman job in Seattle until it signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract this offseason. He then lost the shortstop job to Brad Miller.
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Franklin has still seen some time in the majors this season, playing in 17 games and getting 47 at-bats. However, he hit just .128 and struck out 21 times before being demoted back to Triple-A Tacoma, where he's hitting .300 with nine home runs and 43 RBI.
The price tag on Franklin still seems to be fairly high. The Mariners reportedly turned down Tampa Bay's offer of Ben Zobrist for Franklin and reliever Brandon Maurer.
- Evan Webeck