It’s been quiet…too quiet.
We all figured that Jack Zduriencik would lure some big names to Seattle with a bag full of money and a van full of candy. There were rumors that we would see Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp, Matt Garza…pretty much anyone available was going to get a shot at Seattle.
We’re still waiting for the big hammer to fall with a big name signing, so in the meantime, we get to be excited about this:
MLB source confirms that #Mariners close to signing free agent utility man Willie Bloomquist, pending physical later this week.
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 2, 2013
Yup, Willie Bloomquist. That’s it. The man is coming back to town.
The latest rumors around the web are that there will be a deal in place for Bloomquist by the end of the week. Likely in the 2-year $6 million range. To be fair, that’s not an outrageous amount of money.
Especially if you compare it to what we were considering to pay for Ellsbury or Choo. On the other hand, that salary would be the most Bloomquist has made in his entire career.
Bloomquist might actually be an asset to the team, a versatile utility guy could work out well for the Mariners, not to mention that the guy is a base-stealing machine (well, he used to be anyways).
That would bode well for the Mariners, who were second last in the AL in stolen bases last year with 49 (and 11th in SB% at 68%).
I’m not saying that Bloomquist is a bad pickup for the Mariners (maybe a bit of an overpay), but I still feel let down by the Mariners.
— Rick Randall (@randallball) December 2, 2013
It’s not really a surprise that M’s fans wouldn’t take this news overly well. For weeks we’ve been primed with big names and high hopes, and as the time continued to tick away the feeling that the ‘same old management’ was going to settle for second-rate began to creep back.
Signing Bloomquist makes me feel like someone promised me a case of beer, but then brought me a can of apple juice instead. I mean, apple juice is good, but not when I was expecting a nice cold pint.
Bloomquist is a decent player, and the Mariners definitely had a utility hole to fill. So this deal makes a little bit of sense. His time in Arizona was mediocre. He’s going to be 36 years old next year, and I expect to see him bounce around the infield a lot (which is a whole other can of worms).
Over the last three seasons he bat .289/.328/.368 which is not horrible when compared to the rest of the Mariners, it would actually put him in the top third-ish.
He was a base-stealing master for a while too, but even that has fizzled out in the last few years. Since 2011 he’s stolen 27 bases, while being caught stealing 22 times. That is absolutely mediocre, maybe even a bit worse.
I understand that the M’s might want to encourage some offense, but is he really the guy to do it? Over that same period he’s posted a WAR of 0.1, -0.3 and 0.4. Hardly groundbreaking numbers.
Most of twitter seems to agree that he’ll fill out a utility position for the Mariners, but that doesn’t mean fans are satisfied. I’m sure not. When are we getting our superstar?
The longer we wait and speculate about big names, the more frustrating it gets when nothing happens. Last week Ken Rosenthal said that the Mariners can’t afford to be choosy. They should be pursuing anyone they can get their hands on. I sincerely hope that there is something big in the works that’s being kept very quiet.
As a silver lining, Scott Webber pointed out that overpaying Bloomquist like this would indicate that the Mariners are chasing after the things they want, and money might be flowing a little easier in the front office. If that is actually true, then I’ll keep the faith. In the meantime, I’ll just stew in frustration.