Report: Mariners likely to trade Nick Franklin or Brad Miller by Opening Day

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Many have speculated about a possible match between the Mets and free agent Stephen Drew, but New York could end up finding a shortstop on the trade market.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York passes along word from industry insiders that the Mariners are likely to trade either Nick Franklin or Brad Miller by Opening Day. Franklin is more likely to be moved, as he became expendable after the Robinson Cano signing and Miller is considered the better all-around player.

It’s unclear whether the Mets have actually had discussions with the Mariners in regard to Franklin or Miller, but it would likely take a significant prospect to get a deal done. And plenty of teams should be interested if both players are truly on the market.

Franklin, who turns 23 in March, hit .225/.303/.382 with 12 home runs, 45 RBI, and six stolen bases in 102 games as a rookie last year. The Mariners used him almost exclusively at second base after his call-up and there are questions about his ability to hold his own defensively at shortstop.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.