Willie Bloomquist signs with Seattle

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Not a surprise, but the Willie Bloomquist era in Arizona is over., as he has signed with the Mariners. It's a two-year deal, and apparently for rather more money than he was getting here. I think I need a lie-down.

Ken Rosenthal pegs it at $5.8 million. Not bad for a 36-year-old with a career OPS+ of 80, who over the past two seasons has put up a total of 0.1 bWAR, and who is currently on a homerless streak of over 600 at-bats, including the post-season, dating back to August 10, 2011. Admittedly, his last two years have, by OPS+, been the best of his career (discounting the 12 games played in his rookie season of 2002), hitting over .300 both seasons. But his woeful walk tally and lack of power make it a very empty batting average. I also suspect that a BABIP of .355, compared to his career average of .319, was a significant factor, and probably won't transfer to Seattle.

Bloomquist has certainly cashed in late in his life. He was originally signed for a one-year deal worth $750K with Arizona for the 2011, and opted out of the 2012 portion. That proved a masterstroke, as he was pursued by both the Giants and the D-backs: he opted to stay in Arizona, though the Giants apparently offered him more money, Bloomquist settling for a two-year deal, worth a total of $3.8 million here, the most profitable seasons of his. The Mariners deal now pushes the needle higher: it means he'll earn a total of $9.6 million in his age 34-37 years, compared to about $7.5 for the totality of his age 24-33 seasons.

In his time with Arizona, Bloomquist was a Swiss Army knife, starting games at second, shortstop, third and in left-field. But, just like you don't use a Swiss Army knife when you've got a real can-opener around, he didn't exactly perform exceptionally at any job. For example, he was even used as our leadoff hitter for 53 games in 2012, but an on-base percentage of .318, along with being caught stealing more often than he succeeded, demonstrates his mediocrity for that role. Absolutely no doubting his heart or hustle, but to critics of the D-backs' "grit" narrative, Bloomquist was close Exhibit A, because his on-field performance was pretty borderline.

Admittedly, Fangraphs sees Bloomquist a little more kindly, giving him exactly one fWAR over his three seasons, which I guess is tolerable for his cost of about $4.7 million. He was also key for us down the stretch in 2011, after Stephen Drew's injury, hitting .318 (7-for-22) in the NLDS against Milwaukee. But certainly, there was no spot open for him with the Diamondbacks in 2014, with Aaron Hill and either Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings the current incumbents of our middle infield, and Cliff Pennington also offering a superior defensive replacement. So, he won't get his wish to retire a Diamondback.

Willie Bloomquist went to ASU.

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