Willie Bloomquist gets deal to return to Mariners

Staff reportDecember 3, 2013 

Willie Bloomquist is going back to where his major-league career began, agreeing to a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

The deal is pending a physical and could be announced mid-week, according to multiple sources. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported the contract to be worth $5.8 million. The Mariners did not confirm the deal.

Bloomquist, 36, was drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 1999 draft. The Bremerton native made his major-league debut in 2002, and played seven seasons with the Mariners. During that time he established himself as one of the more versatile players in the majors, a role he will reprise with the Mariners.

In his 12-year career which included stints with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bloomquist has played every position except pitcher and catcher. He’s played 329 games in the outfield, 282 at shortstop, 132 at third base, 123 at second base and 37 at first base.

Seattle returns two young players in the middle of the infield – shortstop Brad Miller and second baseman Nick Franklin – and has just three outfielders – Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte – under contract.

Bloomquist is a career .271 hitter with 17 home runs, 207 RBI and 131 stolen bases in 973 games. He appeared 48 games last season (fewest since 2002) after an oblique injury and a hit-by-pitch that broke two bones in his hand.

Playing the final month of the season, he hit .317 – his best mark since his rookie season when he hit .455 in 12 games.

SHORT HOPS

Teams had until midnight Eastern time to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters. The Mariners were expected to offer contracts to all 38 players on their roster. … Baseball’s annual winter meetings begin Dec. 9 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @TNT_Mariners

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