SEATTLE — Utility player Willie Bloomquist officially signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, bringing him back to the place where he started his major-league career.
The deal was agreed to earlier this week and became official after Bloomquist passed his physical. Bloomquist said a combination of the offer Seattle made and a chance to return to the Pacific Northwest made the decision simple.
“A lot of teams had interest and I had couple of offers on the table and was looking to better my position. When I heard Seattle had interest I was excited,” Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist spent the past three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, appearing in 225 games and hitting .289 with 36 doubles and 63 RBI during that time.
The 36-year-old Bloomquist spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Mariners. His high point came in 2006 when Bloomquist appeared in 102 games for Seattle, hitting .247, with one home run and 15 RBI. He spent the 2009-10 seasons with Kansas City and Cincinnati before joining the Diamondbacks.
Bloomquist said getting a two-year deal was important.
“It gives me security, which goes without saying, but it allows me to know that it’s not going to be a flash in the pan, here one year, gone the next,” Bloomquist said.
Twins have deal with Hughes
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have signed former Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes to a $24 million, three-year contract.
The Twins reached agreement with Hughes last week and finished it on Thursday after the 27-year-old passed his physical. Hughes went 4-14 with a 5.19 earned run average for the Yankees last season.
Phillies sign Nieves
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies have signed catcher Wil Nieves to a $1,125,000, one-year contract.
Nieves played in 71 games last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks and batted .297 with one home run and 22 RBI.
Wilson, Dodgers have deal
LOS ANGELES — Brian Wilson will be wearing Dodger Blue for at least another season.
The free-agent reliever agreed to terms on a $10 million, one-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal is pending a physical.
Wilson, a right-hander and the 2010 majors saves leader while with San Francisco, joined the NL West champion Dodgers last season after a second Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. He missed almost the entire 2012 season when the Giants won their second World Series in three years.
Brewers, Royals make trade
MILWAUKEE — The Kansas City Royals have acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter, which also means the Brewers are poised to shift Ryan Braun to right field.
Milwaukee received left-hander Will Smith, who spent most of the past couple seasons shuffling between Kansas City and Class AAA Omaha — and between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
The Royals have a deep bullpen and Smith pitched primarily in relief, going 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA last season, which ultimately made him expendable in a trade.
Oviedo gets $1.5 million
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to a $1.5 million, one-year contract.
The deal, which could be worth up to $2.9 million if he reaches performance bonuses, was announced Thursday.
The 31-year-old Oviedo signed with Tampa Bay before the 2013 season, but did not pitch while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Oviedo had 92 saves for the Miami Marlins from 2009-11, when he was known as Leo Nunez.
Red Sox sign reliever
BOSTON — A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Boston Red Sox and reliever Edward Mujica have agreed on a two-year contract.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal was pending a physical and had not been announced. The 29-year-old Mujica gives the Red Sox some protection if closer Koji Uehara, who turns 39 in April, cannot repeat his 2013 performance next season.
Mujica was 2-1 with 37 saves and a 2.78 ERA for the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals last season.