Mariners close to a reunion with Willie Bloomquist

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Willie Bloomquist, who played for the Mariners from 2002-2008, is close to returning to Seattle, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Bloomquist has hit over .300 in each of the past two seasons as a part-timer for the Diamondbacks, but he totaled zero homers and a modest .725 OPS in 128 games. Defensive versatility makes him a prototypical utility man, although at age 35 he’s lost a lot of speed.

Bloomquist was the Mariners’ third-round pick in 1999 and played 540 games for Seattle before leaving for Kansas City as a free agent in 2009.

UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says it’ll be a two-year deal worth $5-6 million total, so basically Nick Punto money for two years instead of one.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.