Royals' signing of Bloomquist a head-scratcher

January, 9, 2009
I think they just saved the picture

    KANSAS CITY -- The Royals and infielder Willie Bloomquist have reached an agreement on a two-year contract, learned on Friday.

    Bloomquist is expected to compete for the Royals' second base job with Alberto Callaspo, who finished last season as the regular at that spot.

    A right-handed batter, Bloomquist, 31, played seven seasons with the Seattle Mariners. He had a .263 average in 540 games and played every position in the infield and outfield.

    The deal was pending a physical examination, which Bloomquist was scheduled to take on Friday in Kansas City. His contract was believed to be worth about $3 million for the two years.

    He doesn't have much power -- just six homers in his career -- but has 71 stolen bases in 87 attempts. His on-base percentage is .322 for his career, including .377 last season when he batted .279.

    "He's an on-base guy, a speed-type player and a hustler," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "He's a Craig Counsell-type who really plays hard, hustles and knows how to play."

Really? He's a hustler and he hustles? Do you get double-secret extra credit for that? And this might be the first time that a player with a .322 career on-base percentage has been described as "an on-base guy." At least by a modern, (presumably) Web-equipped baseball man. Why not also describe Bloomquist as a "doubles guy"? After all, he did hit one double last year.

As a commenter here points out, the Royals have now committed $11.4 million in 2009 to Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Jacobs, Horacio Ramirez and Willie Bloomquist. For $11.4 million you can actually get a good player. But of course this is one of the things foolish organizations do: They complain that they can't afford good players after spending millions of dollars on not-good players.

Or, as another commenter comments:

    This is flat out retarded. If you can't find a Willie Bloomquist clone in your minor league system you aren't looking hard enough. There have to be middle-infielder types floating around that can "play" the OF, hit for crap and suck up a roster spot for $400,000. There is no need to pay a premium for this type of "production."

    Egads, I am sure glad I am not a fan of this team.

Me too.


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