Bloomquist sees himself as a future coach

Veteran infielder believes he'll make return to baseball after retirement

Bloomquist sees himself as a future coach

OAKLAND -- When Edgar Martinez signed on as hitting coach of the Mariners two weeks ago, the questions started coming at Willie Bloomquist as well. Would he consider getting into coaching when his playing days ended?

"Yeah, I was getting that a lot recently. Maybe I should have seen the writing on the wall," Bloomquist said with a laugh.

The Mariners designated Bloomquist for assignment on Thursday, but he's hoping to get picked up by another team. At 37, he still feels he can contribute. But if that doesn't happen, or whenever his time to hang up the cleats does arrive, don't be surprised if he eventually finds his way back into the game.

"[Former Mariners coach] Mike Goff told me a long time ago, 'Kid, this game is in your blood. Nobody goes out and takes that many grounders or spends that much time in the cage if they don't love the game,'" Bloomquist said. "When that time does come, I'll definitely need to take a year or two and spend time with my wife and kids. I owe that to them.

"But to say I'm getting out of this game cold turkey is probably a stretch. It is in my blood. Right now, I'm focused and determined to get back with somebody that wants to use me."

Bloomquist wants people to know he's not upset the way things ended with the Mariners. He loved playing for Lloyd McClendon and the Mariners. But he did want to play more and thinks he can still be productive if given more opportunities. It's unlikely he'll be claimed off waivers by another team, since that would mean picking up the remainder of this year's $3 million salary.

But once he clears waivers, another team could sign Bloomquist for the pro-rated portion of the remainder of the Major League minimum, which be about $250,000, with the Mariners still on the hook for the balance of his $3 million deal.

So Bloomquist will need to let that process play out over the next 10 days and then see what comes next.

"I'm confident there will be something," he said. "Obviously, time will tell. For me, it's a win-win situation at this point in my life. If I land somewhere, it'll be a good situation. If not, I get to go home and see my family.

"I've had 13 great years as a Major League Baseball player. I've spent 13 years playing against the best competition in the world. It's gone by really, really fast. If it were to end and I don't get a phone call, I have no regrets whatsoever. I left everything possible I have on the field and prepared as hard and as well as I can and got the most out of the skills I've been blessed with.

"Everybody has their naysayers. At the end of day, I can go home and say I did it right. For me, playing that many years says I did something right."

• Though Hisashi Iwakuma could be ready to return by Sunday after pitching his third Minor League rehab start on Tuesday, manager Lloyd McClendon said he was sticking with rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery in Sunday's series finale in Oakland. So if Iwakuma returns, it won't be until the Mariners return to Seattle on Monday for a seven-game homestand before the All-Star break.

• Rule 5 Draft pick David Rollins must be added to the 25-man roster on Saturday or risk being lost as that's when his 80-game suspension for a failed PED test in spring ends. Rollins has thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings over seven appearances with seven hits, one walk and eight strikeouts over the past two weeks for Triple-A Tacoma.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.