The Milwaukee Brewers picked up another versatile player for their big league bench on Wednesday afternoon when they claimed utility-man Nick Franklin off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Franklin, 26, was a first round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and made his pro debut that same season. A minor league All-Star in 2010, 2012 and 2014, he made his MLB debut in May of 2013 and appeared in 119 games with the Mariners between the 2013 and 2014 seasons before being traded to Tampa Bay in a three team deal at the trade deadline in 2014. He bounced between Tampa and their Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, in 2015 and 2016, logging another 115 major league games with the Rays.
A career .219 hitter who racked up 22 home runs while driving in 84 over 234 MLB contests, Franklin has seen time at all four infield positions as well as both corner outfield spots with the bulk of his playing time coming at second base.
Franklin is expected to report on Friday and in order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, relief pitcher Michael Blazek was designated for assignment.
Blazek, 28, was acquired by the Brewers in a 2013 trade that sent reliever John Axford to the St. Louis Cardinals. He made 104 relief appearances for Milwaukee from 2013-2016, posting a 4.09 earned run average, but was unhappy when the Brewers optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs in March.