Franklin expresses interest in Nationals

Franklin expresses interest in Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are looking for starting pitching, and right-hander Ryan Franklin said on Wednesday evening that he could give the team 200 innings. He also confirmed that Washington has expressed interest in his services.

Franklin, 33, spent all of 2006 as a reliever for the Phillies and Reds, going a combined 6-7 with a 4.54 ERA in 66 games. However, he is best known as a starter during his six seasons with the Mariners. His best season was in 2003, when he went 11-13 with a 3.57 ERA for Seattle. He also started 30 or more games for three consecutive seasons.

In 2005, while still with Seattle, Franklin received a 10-day suspension by Major League Baseball for violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

"The Nationals have shown interest, and I'm showing interest back," Franklin said. "We are not close to anything. We are just talking a little bit. I'm talking to them about starting.

"I think I'm more valuable to a team -- starting-wise -- because I have a rubber arm. I've been known to throw a lot of innings. I enjoy being out there longer than one or two innings. Before last year I threw [almost] 600 innings in three years. I'm looking to getting back to the role."

Franklin made $2.6 million last season and is aware that the Nationals are not paying a lot of money to pitchers. Asked if he was willing to play for a lower salary or sign a Minor League contract, he said, "I'm not looking to break the bank. I want to be treated fairly. I can't really tell you numbers right now. ... I just want a chance to get back to that starting role and show what I can do -- 200 innings, quality starts and help the team out."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.