Willie Bloomquist Rumors

Bloomquist Wants To Be Everyday Player

Royals veteran Willie Bloomquist is intrigued by the possibility of being an every day player elsewhere as he heads into free agency, writes Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.  After setting career highs in plate appearances and games played in 2009, the soon-to-be 33-year-old has taken on a dramatically reduced role this season.

“I’d be lying,” the utility player said, “if I said the National League didn’t entice me. I could play pretty much every day whether I’m starting or not. That’s awful enticing.”

However, Bloomquist is more at ease with having a reserve role than he once was.  Two years ago, the right-handed batter was anxious to leave Seattle via free agency for Kansas City in order to see more playing time.  To date, Bloomquist has yet to receive a contract offer from the Royals but he might be willing to re-up with the club before testing the waters of free agency.

“After the season,” Bloomquist said, “they have the [exclusive] rights to talk to me for a couple of weeks. If something comes up that’s decent and fair, then why rock the marriage? On the other hand, it could definitely be in my interest to see what’s out there.”

The former Seattle Mariner has earned a combined $3.1MM in his two seasons with the Royals.

Phillies, Padres Eyeing Tejada, Bloomquist

The Padres' chief infield target is Miguel Tejada, reports CBS' Scott Miller.  They're facing competition from the Phillies, who are also said to be after the Orioles infielder.  Last we heard, the Cardinals inquired but didn't get anywhere.

The Padres and Phillies share another target in the Royals' Willie Bloomquist, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.  Crasnick says the Angels and Yankees have also kicked the tires on the 32-year-old utility man.  Bloomquist is still owed $619K plus performance bonuses.

Royals Open To Making More Deals

Several clubs were ‘kicking the tires’ on Scott Podsednik this summer, but until 24 hours ago, the Dodgers weren’t one of them.

“Ned Colletti and I spoke for the first time last night,” Royals GM Dayton Moore told reporters this evening.

Just 24 hours later, the clubs finalized the deal that sent Podsednik to the Dodgers for minor leaguers Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel. The negotiation process with the Dodgers was simple and Moore can imagine tinkering a little more before Saturday at 3pm CST.

“There may be a small deal or two that we could do going forward,” Moore said.

Some players – like Joakim Soria, Zack Greinke and Billy Butler – would be extremely difficult to pry away, but the Royals insist they’re “open-minded” about others.

“Guys in the final year of their contract, we’ll be more aggressive with potentially moving them,” Moore said.

Jose Guillen (who has drawn interest from the Giants), Bruce Chen and Willie Bloomquist are set to hit free agency after the 2010 season. The Royals have a $5.25MM option for Kyle Farnsworth in 2011, but he could attract interest before the deadline as well. The Royals lost a major trade chip last week when David DeJesus injured his thumb.

Bloomquist Drawing Interest

Royals' super-utility man Willie Bloomquist is drawing attention from multiple clubs, according to the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton.

After a terrible start to the season, which Bloomquist attributed to offseason knee surgery, his bat has begun to heat up, with 14 hits in his last 37 at-bats. Add that to his speed, defensive versatility (he's appeared everywhere except pitcher and catcher in 2010 already), and affordable contract, and Bloomquist would be a welcome addition for many clubs.

Dutton names the Red Sox and Phillies as teams that could use a boost in the infield, which makes sense in light of injuries to Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley. Additionally, Dutton names the Yankees as a possibility, with GM Brian Cashman recently saying he'd like to improve his bench. Remember also that the Rockies are on the lookout for versatile pieces, with Troy Tulowitzki recently landing on the disabled list as well.

Bloomquist is finishing out a two-year, $3.1MM deal signed with Kansas City back in January of 2009. He's owed roughly $850K for the rest of the season. His batting line sits at a mere .247/.291/.397, though as previously mentioned, it's trending upward. And while he hasn't been a standout defensive player at any of his many positions throughout his career (according to UZR/150, that is), the combination of these assets make him a valuable piece that likely wouldn't be too difficult to pry away from the Royals.

Bloomquist notes that he'd like to stay in Kansas City for another five or six years if possible, and manager Ned Yost shares that sentiment, but it shouldn't be a surprise to see him in a new uniform come August 1.

Giants, Red Sox Among Teams Eyeing Royals

The Giants and Red Sox are among the teams eyeing Royals players, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Royals GM Dayton Moore is willing to listen to offers, but anticipating the return for the likes of David DeJesus and Jose Guillen is difficult, even for those in the team’s front office.

“I can tell you this much,” one Royals official told Dutton, “nobody is willing to take on payroll. But teams don’t want to deal prospects, either. So it makes it tough to do anything.” 

Dutton reports that the Giants have interest in Guillen on the condition that the Royals absorb most of the $6.3MM or so remaining on his contract. Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported that the Royals are looking to move Guillen and are willing to pick up most of his salary in a trade, but Moore insists that the Royals are not actively looking to trade. Two rival scouts told Dutton that the Royals say they will take on a considerable amount of Guillen’s salary, so it doesn’t appear that Guillen would be tough to obtain.

If the Royals decide to start selling aggressively, they could discuss Mike Aviles and Willie Bloomquist with the Red Sox, who see the infielders as candidates to fill in while Dustin Pedroia's fractured left foot heals. The Red Sox are considering infielders and had some interest in Adam Everett before Pedroia's injury. One scout said Kyle Farnsworth could appeal to teams as a reliever if the Royals decide to part with him.

Rosenthal On Yankees, Oswalt, White Sox, Beltre

The Yankees are not actively looking for a utility infielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal names Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald and Jayson Nix as options the Yanks could consider should they decide that they want more experience than Kevin Russo and Ramiro Pena can offer. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:

  • Adrian Beltre will almost certainly reject his player option after the season and re-enter free agency. He has been one of the game's best players this year, rating characteristically well on defense (according to UZR) and hitting .336/.371/.528.
  • The Mariners won't necessarily get a first round pick in next year's draft if they hold onto Cliff Lee. First of all, a losing team could sign Lee (the first 15 picks are protected). Secondly, a team could sign Lee and a free agent who ranks higher under the Elias system. That would mean the Mariners get a supplementary rounder and a second rounder.
  • If the Rangers are sold before the winter, they could be a potential landing spot for Carl Crawford, one executive suggested.
  • Rosenthal hears that Astros owner Drayton McLane is not against the idea of trading Roy Oswalt to Texas, though the Rangers' ability to take on payroll and the pitcher's no-trade clause could prevent a deal from going through.
  • The Marlins inquired on Matt Thornton back when the White Sox were sellers. Now, the White Sox would not consider dealing the left-hander.
  • If White Sox GM Kenny Williams becomes a buyer, he may pursue a left-handed bat.
  • The Mariners want major league or major league-ready hitters for Cliff Lee, but the Dodgers' best prospects are a few years away from the majors.
  • The Rockies are interested in Ty Wigginton, according to Rosenthal's colleague, Tracy Ringolsby.
  • The Rays will look for impact players at the trade deadline.

Cafardo’s Latest: Oswalt, DeJesus, Aardsma, LaRoche

There are a handful of big names that could be moved before this July's trading deadline, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opens his latest column by taking a look at some of the possibilities. Let's check out the highlights from Cafardo's piece….

  • There's skepticism within the Astros' organization that owner Drayton McLane would want to trade Roy Oswalt to the Rangers, baseball's other Texas team.
  • The return the Royals are requesting in exchange for David DeJesus is higher than any team is willing to pay for now.
  • Mariners closer David Aardsma is "already drawing a lot of interest."
  • Pedro Feliz, Willie Bloomquist, and Jay Payton could be small-scale trade bait.
  • Adam LaRoche on his brief time as a Red Sox: "The ballpark was perfectly suited for the way I swing, and it would have been nice to have stayed there and see what would have happened over a full year."

Royals Will Listen To Offers

Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the club has some "nice pieces" to market this summer. The 27-37 Royals have a number of players who might appeal to contenders and Moore is ready to listen, even though the Royals aren't actively looking to move players at this point.

"We'll evaluate what comes our way if anything does come our way," he said. 

It wouldn't be surprising to see an offer or two for David DeJesus come the Royals' way. Dutton reports that clubs are already scouting the outfielder, who is hitting .314/.392/.479. DeJesus makes an affordable $4.7MM salary this year and there's a club option for $6MM in 2011 ($500K buyout). 

If the Royals hold onto DeJesus, they could decline his option and offer him arbitration. If he turns down their offer to sign elsewhere, they would obtain at least one draft pick, possibly two. The promise of draft picks makes the Royals hesitant to deal him for a pedestrian return, but there are advantages to dealing now. DeJesus must climb into Type A territory under the Elias rankings system and decline arbitration for them to get two picks. Even if they get the picks, they would have to wait a year and pay each draftee about $1MM. 

Rival teams could also have interest in Scott Podsednik, Jose Guillen, Kyle Farnsworth, Willie Bloomquist, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Alberto Callaspo and Rick Ankiel.

Rangers Searching For Backup Corner Infielder

The Rangers are looking to acquire a backup corner infielder before Opening Day, writes Jim Reeves of ESPN.com.  Manager Ron Washington had hoped that one of the club's young players – such as Matt Brown or Max Ramirez – would step up to fill the role, but that has not happened.

One Rangers source said that the team keeps coming back to Boston's Mike Lowell.  The same source indicated that Texas believes that they can basically get Lowell for the same player they agreed to deal over the winter, Max Ramirez.

Kevin Millar is also on the Rangers' watch list, though he may earn himself a bench spot with the Cubs.  Wes Helms of the Marlins and Fernando Tatis of the Mets could also fit the bill as corner infielders off of the bench.  Meanwhile, "super-utility" players like Houston's Geoff Blum and Kansas City's Willie Bloomquist are likely too rich for Texas' blood.

Rangers Interested In Trading For Utility Infielder

In spite of the deal with Oakland that brought Gregorio Petit to Texas, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that Petit will probably end up in Triple-A rather than fill the Rangers' need for a utility infielder on their big league roster.  Texas has been looking to fill their backup infield void for weeks, and a few new options have appeared on the Rangers' radar for a possible deal.

Augie Ojeda (who we know the D'Backs are shopping) is one option that the Rangers have an interest in, Sullivan says.  Sullivan proposes that right-hander Luis Mendoza might be a good fit to be dealt for Ojeda since Arizona wants pitching and Mendoza is out of optionsWillie Bloomquist and Kevin Frandsen are also possible options, Sullivan reports.  Frandsen is another player known to be on the trade market, and that same MLBTR piece also cites the Giants as a team that could be interested in a player of Ojeda's type.

Former Ranger Ramon Vazquez has been mentioned in trade talks this winter and we know the Pirates want to move him.  But Sullivan says Texas doesn't want to acquire Vazquez at the cost of Mendoza, and you have to figure that the Rangers might just pick Vazquez up if Pittsburgh is forced to release him.