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December 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Willie Bloomquist set to return to the Mariners

bloomquist

Times file photo/Rod Mar

I wanted to get this up earlier, but I was in mid-commute to Seattle when it broke.

A source within the Mariners confirmed the report from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that infielder and Port Orchard native Willie Bloomquist will be returning to the organization that first drafted him out of Arizona State.

The signing will be announced sometime later this week, pending the results of a physical.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Daily Republic reports that Bloomquist will be getting a 2-year deal, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 or $6 million dollars.

Obviously, Bloomquist is not going to start. At age 36, they are bringing him into be a bench player/utility infielder. He is serviceable in that role, but it does make the two-year contract a little curious. Is it an overpay? Yes, but it’s not as though this signing will preclude them from pursuing other free agents this offseason.

Realistically, he fills that role better than Carlos Triunfel or another minor league/AAAA player. Were there better options out there? It’s possible. But most utility infielders try to exhaust National League and playoff level teams first. The Mariners needed to fill a role on the bench. The fact that it’s a former Mariners player and the whole narrative of grit and hustle has generated a fair amount of snark on twitter (stunning).

There was some thought amongst fans that the Mariners would try and somehow use Dustin Ackley in a hybrid left fielder/second base role to go with Brad Miller at shortstop and Nick Franklin at second base like they did at the end of last season. But sources have said the Mariners are willing to part with one of those three players in a trade to acquire starting pitching or outfield help.

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