Analysis of Sioux City Explorers, Kansas City Monarchs Trade
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In this edition, Robert Pannier examines the trade between the Sioux City Explorers and the Kansas City Monarchs that sent infielder Nick Franklin to Sioux City for the visionary rights to Nick Belzer.
Sue City Acquires Nick Franklin for Nick Belzer
On Friday, the Sioux City Explorers acquired infielder Nick Franklin for the revisionary rights to right-handed pitcher Nick Belzer and future considerations.
How This Effects the Explorers
Sioux City is in desperate need to find some healthy bodies to help this team make a final playoff push. They entered Sunday’s competition 1.5 games behind Lincoln Saltdogs for the third and final playoff spot in the South Division, and face the prospect of a number of double-headers coming up which are going to require a flexible and healthy lineup.
Franklin had only appeared in four games for Kansas City before being dealt, hitting .357 with four runs scored. The infielder comes with an impressive pedigree, playing in 301 major league games, including 102 in 2013 with the Seattle Mariners. He has also played with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Angels. In parts of six Major League seasons, he hit .214 and has a .277 batting average and 11 minor league seasons. That includes 111 professional home runs and 470 RBI in 1085 games.
With Sioux City reacquiring Jay Austin, Franklin is a perfect addition in the middle of this lineup, joining Jose Sermo and Seamus Curran to form a very solid core.
How This Effects the Monarchs
The same day, Kansas City had dealt infielder Will Kengor to Milwaukee for the revisionary rights to another right-handed pitcher. Neither Belzer nor Brandon Koch are likely to make a single pitch for this team this season, but there simply was no room for Franklin to play, especially with the addition of Paulo Orlando. So, manager Joe Calfapietra made sure he got something for Franklin, dealing him to Sioux City for Belzer.
The right-hander only made one start for the Explorers, tossing five shutout innings at the start of the season before his contract was transferred to the Milwaukee Brewers. Belzer has a proven record in the American Association, appearing in two seasons with the St. Paul Saints, including five games in 2019 when he posted a 1.32 ERA.
The right-hander is 6-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 starts for High A-Carolina (Milwaukee Brewers), but it would not be surprising to see him return to the American Association next season. If that is the case, he would be a key piece to the Monarchs rotation, maybe even filling one of the top two spots.
By Robert Pannier