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The following is my educated guess about shortstop in Citi Field, after having read recent reports, while talking with people around the game and connected to the team...

Ruben Tejada is likely to be the team's starting shortstop, unless a trade can be worked out with the Mariners for 2B-SS Nick Franklin.

The D-Backs were scouting the Mets on Tuesday (ESPN, Mar. 18) and are reportedly open to trading one of their shortstops, specifically Didi Gregorious (ESPN, March 18). They have a major need for starting pitching right now, but it isn't sounding, to me, like a fit with the Mets makes sense for either team at this point in time. Arizona likes Mets C prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, and they've long been intrigued by Sandy Alderson's top pitching prospects, but they're not alone.

There is strong demand for several Mets prospects, and that may only increase as these players get more work in Double- and Triple-A this summer. Basically, it's getting to be time to package a catcher, pitcher and another prospect or two for a legitimate, star-quality hitter - Alderson knows it and the league knows it - and it might not make sense to waste one or two those bullets on another team's out-of-favor shortstop prospect... especially one that may be able to be had for, say, a Dillon Gee, in June or July. But, that's another story for another day...

Trading for Franklin seemed probable a few weeks ago, but is looking less and less likely as his price goes up (probably due to the Orioles and Rays also showing interest), while interest from the Mets goes down. Why less interest? This spring training, Wilmer Flores has given the organization reason to believe he can deliver a similar offensive production as Franklin, while playing roughly the same defense. Franklin will cost a pitching prospect. Flores is already here.

So, Flores will most likely start the year in Triple-A, where he's going to see a lot of playing time at shortstop (ESPN, Mar. 18). Why? Well, I assume if Tejada continues to stumble or look flat, Flores will get promoted and take the job in Queens.

Tags: matthewcerrone, avsny, MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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