The Mariners are used to disappointing their fans and failing to meet even the tiniest bit of preseason optimism, but things could be different in 2016. They have a new general manager and a new plan, and it could be enough to break Seattle out of this malaise the team puts them in every season. It'll take some rebounds and for the new pieces to succeed as expected, but making sure Mike Zunino won't get nearly 400 plate appearances is a start.
Jerry Dipoto isn't on the field, but he's a new addition, and his top attribute is not being Jack Zduriencik. Dipoto has some questionable baseball decisions in his past, but they've been made with an owner over his shoulder more often than not: the Mariners are his first real chance to show what he can do with a team under his control.
All additions: Wade Miley, Nori Aoki, Adam Lind, Steve Cishek, Nate Karns, Chris Iannetta, Leonys Martin, Joaquin Benoit, Nick Vincent
Losing Carson Smith is going to hurt the bullpen, but Wade Miley was the return, and both he and Nate Karns should be upgrades on the starters they're replacing. So, the hope is that the Mariners are less reliant on the bullpen now that they have five capable big-league starters in one rotation.
All departures: Carson Smith, Mark Trumbo, Logan Morrison, Brad Miller, Tom Wilhelmsen, Danny Farquhar
The Mariners have a strong rotation from top to bottom, led by ace Felix Hernandez. The lineup isn't perfect, but Jerry Dipoto has shrunk the gaping holes considerably and given Seattle a real chance to win games either with their bats or their arms. Their ceiling rests deep within the playoffs, a place they haven't been to in any capacity since Ichiro Suzuki was a rookie in 2001.
Jerry Dipoto is actually just Jack Z disguised in an elaborate Dipoto mask and the beatings will continue until morale improves.
Lineup: Nori Aoki, Ketel Marte, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Adam Lind, Franklin Gutierrez, Chris Iannetta, Leonys Martin
Rotation: Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, Wade Miley, Nate Karns