Kyle Seager

Third baseman Kyle Seager signed a seven-year extension with the Mariners in the offseason. He won a Gold Glove for his defensive prowess and had 25 homers and 96 RBI in 2014. [The Associated Press]

Welcome to the new world of high expectations for the Mariners. A year after acquiring Robinson Cano and finishing one game out of the playoffs, the Mariners signed third baseman Kyle Seager to a seven-year extension, nabbed major league home run champ Nelson Cruz in free agency and added a suitable pair of outfielders in Justin Ruggiano and Seth Smith.

Suddenly the Mariners are being viewed as one of the favorites, not just in their division but the entire American League.

Most of Seattle’s roster is set headed into spring, with two notable exceptions: shortstop and one spot in the starting rotation.

Chris Taylor and Brad Miller are vying for the starting job at shortstop. Taylor is the better glove, Miller has more potential at the plate.

Most of Seattle’s starting rotation is set with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and J.A.Happ.

The fifth spot will likely come down to Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez unless another unknown pops up as Elias did last year during spring training.

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