The Mariners announced the signing of backup infielder/utility player Willie Bloomquist on Thursday morning. While the organization doesn’t give out contract details, sources confirm that it is a 2-year contract for $5.8 million dollars.
“From my personal standpoint, this has been an exciting week for me and my family,” he said in a conference call. “To get an opportunity to go back and play where it all began as a professional, to sign back with organization that believed in me out of high school and out of college and now as a free agent, I couldn’t be more flattered to b e coming back to play there.”
Bloomquist has played every position in the field except catcher and pitcher in his 12 year career.. He has seen action at shortstop (282 games, 238 games started), third base (132 games, 96 games started), center field (124 games, 94 games started), second base (123 games, 97 games started), right field (119 games, 63 games started), left field (101 games, 64 games started) and first base (37 games, 11 games started).
The Mariners were looking to acquire a veteran player to come off the bench, who was able to play multiple positions, including shortstop. Bloomquist, 36, fills that role.
“This has been an exciting offseason,” he said. ” There were a lot f teams that had interest. I had a couple of offers on the table and we were trying to better our position.When I heard Seattle had some interest, I was excited. And when Scott (Boras) told me the deal they offered, there were no reservations to say take it and take it now.”
Bloomquist played in just 48 games last season, missing extended time with an oblique injury and later a broken hand. He hit .317 (44-for-139).
“As of right now, I feel great, my body feels 100 percent and I’m ready to go,” he said. “I took a 94 mph fastball off my hand and broke a couple of bones in it. That’s where I missed the bulk of my time. Injuries are going to happen. I’ve always tried to get between the lines and give it 100 percent. I feel like you are supposed to play that way. And along with that comes some injuries.”
The Mariners drafted the Bremerton native and South Kitsap grade twice. He signed with the Mariners after being taken in the third round of the 1999 draft out of Arizona State. He made his big league debut on Sept 1, 2002. He would go on to play in 540 games for the Mariners. He left after the 2008 season as a free agent.