Acquiring Bloomquist makes little sense, and may be forerunner for another ugly M’s trade

By Terry Benish

Special to The Sports Paper


So how do you read the return of South Kitsap High’s Willie Bloomquist to the Seattle Mariners?

So far in 12 years in the majors, Willie has earned $11.3 million. Add to that the $5.8 million dollar contract with the Mariners for 2014 and 2015 and you have $17.1 million. At a certain level, I could stop right there. Projecting him to have a 14-year career and earn $17.1 million dollars would have taken a huge crystal ball in 2002.

Let us look at that and why.

He has 17 homeruns in 12 years, which is a little more than one a year. But if you look closely, he had 11 of those in three years. In six years, he had no home runs.

One hundred and three doubles and 23 triples capture his power. So in an average year, 10 doubles, one triple and one home run is his production.

Bloomquist has only had three years with over 300 plate appearances, which means no one has sought to see what he would do as a regular in those 12 years.

So 10, one and one for double, triple and home runs seems fair as he won’t play 150 games.

At one point he ran a bit, stealing 25 bases in his best year with six caught stealing. But that is gone now.

Collectively, in last two years he stole seven bases and was caught 12 times. He has no sacrifice bunts in the last two years. Bloomquist did have the best two OPS in 2012 and 2013 of his career with .724 and .727 respectively, fueled by his batting average of .302 and .317.

Defensively he has played every position in the field in the last two years except for first base and catcher. He is not good at any of them.

In 2012, he played his longest stint at shortstop, and he just does not get to many balls. He’s not a major league shortstop.

So really, he is a slightly below average National League utility guy. Utility guys are used way more in National League due to pitchers hitting and double switches and the like. American League teams keep them in case of injuries and they play a lot less than in National League, injuries notwithstanding.

So you ask yourself, if you follow the Mariners, why they sign a guy for two years when there are cheaper and more superior defensive players available. For the good and emotionally satisfying second-hand rant, go to and read both Dave Cameron’s and Jeff Sullivan’s essays for the negative response.

On the other hand, the Mariners now have four guys that can play second base in Nick Franklin (by far the best with most upside), Bloomquist, Chris Taylor (at Tacoma, also best shortstop) and Dustin Ackley.

So what is up with Bloomquist’s signing?

Possibility number one: Look for Franklin to be traded along with best pitching prospect James Paxton for crap or near crap in return ‑ soon.

Possibility number two: Bloomquist is a Scott Boras client and general manager Jack Zduriencik signs Bloomquist thinking Boras will give him a discount on Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin Soo Choo.

As a side note, Boras could be heard laughing from Santa Barbara yesterday. If possibility two happens, so will possibility one. Zduriencik can’t trade Ackley because he has no value in the eyes of other teams.

So at end of day, Willie is a mostly spent player.

It does amuse me that Willie pulled money from the Mariners. If he plays much, they will be even worse than anticipated. As a major league player, there is no there there, anymore.

And the Franklin-Paxton trade, should it happen, will rival the Erik Bedard for Adam Jones and a pile of young pitchers as to being bad.