Rays talking to Mariners about Nick Franklin

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported Monday that the Mets have been discussing a possible Nick Franklin trade with the Mariners since December’s Winter Meetings, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is now hearing from a source that the Rays are also in the Franklin hunt and “actually match up better” with Seattle’s current needs and wants.

Heyman notes that the Rays and Mariners haggled earlier this winter about a David Price deal, which never went through but left the clubs intimately familiar with each others’ minor league systems.

Franklin was a first-round pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft and got ranked a Top 100 prospect by both MLB.com and Baseball America last winter, but he is blocked in Seattle by Robinson Cano at second base and Brad Miller at shortstop. The M’s might as well see what he can fetch for the 22-year-old.

Rubin tweeted this Tuesday in response to Heyman’s report linking the Rays:

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.