Mariners 2017 preview: Will busy offseason turn Seattle into contender?

Mariners have just 13 winning seasons in 40 years, but after a busy offseason, GM Jerry Dipoto's roster looks to build on an 86-win season.

The Mariners have just 13 winning seasons in 40 years, but after a busy offseason, general managerJerry Dipoto's roster looks to build on an 86-win season and challenge the Rangers for second place in the AL West and contend for a wild-card spot.

Dipoto has made more moves than any GM this winter and has revamped the Mariners roster. Gone are pitchers Taijuan Walker, Nate Karns,Vidal Nuno and battersSeth Smith andKetel Marte.

Alongsidecore battersRobinson Cano,Nelson Cruz, andKyle Seager,Dipoto acquired veteran speedstersJean Segura andJarrod Dyson. He also added a solid platoon playerinDanny Valencia, who crushes lefties.

StartersDrew Smyly (career3.74 ERA) and Yovani Gallardo (3.79) round out a solid rotation led byFelix Hernandez. CloserEdwin Diaz will be joined by newcomersMarc Rzepczynski andDan Altavilla.

Despite the moves,Baseball ProspectusandFanGraphseach project the Mariners' win total to be the same as last season. With the Astros favored in the division, Seattle can't afford to go7-12 against the Rangers like in 2016.

Seattle Marinersschedule 2017

The Mariners begin the 2017 schedule on baseball's opening day April 3 against the AL West-favorites Astros at8:10 p.m. ET. Following the four-game series, Seattle heads to Los Angeles before their home opener.

The first game of the 2017 MLB season at Seattle's Safeco Field is April 10 against the Astros. The M's will be home for nine games before embarking on another road trip to end April with17 of their first 26 games on the road.

Seattle Marinersroster

Marinersprojected opening day lineup

1.Jarrod Dyson, OF

2.Jean Segura, SS

3.Robinson Cano, 2B

4.Nelson Cruz, DH

5.Kyle Seager, 3B

6.Mitch Haniger, OF

7.Dan Vogelbach, 1B

8. Mike Zunino, C

9.Leonys Martin, OF

Mariners projected rotation

1.Felix Hernandez, RHP

2.Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP

3.James Paxton, LHP

4.Drew Smyly, LHP

5.Yovani Gallardo, RHP

Mariners projected bullpen

Closer:Edwin Diaz, RHP
Setup: Nick Vincent, RHP
Setup:Steve Cishek, RHP

Mariners fantasy baseball sleeper

James Paxton, SP: The southpaw hasn'table to put his skill set together, at least for a full season. The 28-year-old started 31 games between Triple-A and the majors last season and a 2.80 FIP, 8.7 K:9 ratio, 1.8 BB:9 ratio hint at a possible breakout year.

Marinerstop prospect(s)

MORE: Baseball Prospectus' 2017 PECOTA projections love Dodgers, still hate Royals

Kyle Lewiswon the Golden Spikes Award in college at Mercer after batting .395 with 20 homers and 70 runs scored. The 6-4 outfielder is working his way back from a torn ACL but has the power anddefense to make it in MLB.

Another top-100 prospect and fellow outfielder Tyler O’Neill finished 2015 with 32 homers, good for the second-most in the minor leagues. This past season at Double-A Jackson, he belted 24 dingers while batting .293.

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