Veteran infielder Willie Bloomquist announced his retirement today with an entertaining tweet that’s well worth a look. He had yet to sign with a team over the offseason after being released by the Mariners last summer.
The 38-year-old will wrap up his playing career after logging time in 14 major league seasons. Though he topped 400 plate appearances only once in a single campaign — his 2009 stint with the Royals — Bloomquist stepped to the dish over 3,000 times in the bigs.
All told, Bloomquist provided only a .269/.316/.342 overall batting line, which landed a fair sight below league-average. Though he never managed even five home runs in a season, he did put up double-digit stolen base tallies in half a dozen campaigns and was generally rated as a top-quality baserunner.
But it was never really about the offensive side of the equation for Bloomquist, who spent time everywhere on the diamond except on the mound and behind the plate, with about a third of his innings coming at shortstop. Though he’s never been a darling of defensive metrics, he generally provided sturdy glovework and immense defensive flexibility.
Bloomquist will be best remembered as a member of the Mariners, having spent parts of nine seasons — including the beginning and the end of his career — in Seattle. In addition to the aforementioned Royals, Bloomquist also suited up for the Diamondbacks and Reds.
There are several other veterans who’ve announced their retirement in recent days, including fellow utilityman Skip Schumaker and lefty Randy Wolf. Remember, you can look back at all such announcements by clicking on the “Retirement” tag at the bottom of this post or following this link.
As with those players, MLBTR extends its best wishes to Bloomquist in his post-playing days.