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.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.