Willie Bloomquist is coming back to his home state and the organization that started his professional baseball career.
According to sources within the team, the Mariners will sign the Port Orchard native to a free-agent contract, pending a physical. The announcement should come in the next few days.
Bloomquist, 36, will receive a two-year contract for $5.8 million.
Bloomquist is being brought in to be a bench player/utility infielder — something he has done the bulk of his career. With the trade of Brendan Ryan last season and the demotion of Carlos Triunfel to Class AAA, the Mariners didn’t have a backup at shortstop for much of the second half of last season. Bloomquist is a serviceable backup shortstop, and can fill in at most positions. In his career, Bloomquist has appeared at every position but catcher.
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Seattle originally drafted Bloomquist out of Arizona State in the third round of the 1999 amateur draft. He made his big-league debut in September 2002. He left the organization after the 2008 season, opting for free agency after appearing in 540 games with Seattle over seven seasons. He has spent time with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds and most recently the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bloomquist appeared in 48 games in an injury-riddled year last season for the Diamondbacks, hitting .317 (44 for 139) with five doubles, a homer and 14 runs batted in.
In his three seasons with the Diamondbacks, he hit .289 with a .328 on-base percentage.
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or email@example.com. On Twitter: @RyanDivish