Mariners Insider Blog

Willie Bloomquist, Casper Wells and a few links

Former Seattle Mariner Willie Bloomquist, the Port Orchard player managers loved and some fans hated, signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondback that left a lot of money on the table elsewhere.

The San Francisco Giants reportedly offered Bloomquist $4.6 million over two seasons - and told him he might open the season as their shortstop. Bloomy, who lives in Arizona with his wife and daughters and loves manager Kirk Gibson, instead took $3.8 million to come back to the Diamondbacks.

Foolish? I don't think so. Bloomquist realized what has long been my free agent philosophy: Sign where you'll be happiest. And if you can't live well on $3.8 million, that extra $800,000 probably isn't going to save you. Good for you, Willie B.

Had a quick conversation with Mariners outfielder Casper Wells, who missed the last two weeks of he year with vertigo - he'd had trouble tracking pitches and fly balls over the final month of the year. Back then, he was understandably worried, and a handful of specialists couldn't find the cause.


"I'm fine, I'm doing some physical therapy involving my eyes but it's not really an issue, any more," Wells said. "One of the doctors testing my eyes said they were so good that when I was having the trouble my eyesight was still better than most people, so tests weren't picking anything up."

Wells, 26, made quite an impression before vision put him in a 3-for-45 rut. In his first 15 games after coming from Detroit in the Doug Fister deal, Wells batted .333 with six home runs and 14 RBI. In 31 games, overall, he had six outfield assists. In 308 major-league at-bats, Wells has a .263 batting average, .330 on-base percentage, 15 home runs and 44 RBI.

And now, a few links:

  • In the most frightening baseball story in years, Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped from his Venezuela home. The Washington Post has the most in-depth story on the web this morning.
  • They've appeared in and lost back-to-back World Series, so the Texas Rangers got free advice from Fox's Ken Rosenthal: sign Prince Fielder, Mark Buehrle and a premium closer. Well, certainly sounds easy.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays are scanning the free agent market for fits, and one writer thinks the two best may be their own - first baseman Casey Kotchman and DH Johnny Damon.  Makes one wonder anew, how does Joe Maddon do it year after year?
  • The Los Angeles Times came up with a list of the 11 weirdest batting stances in major-league history and - be proud! - two of them belong to Mariners.