Are the Houston Astros the Most-Improved AL West Team?

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2. Seattle Mariners

Oct 2, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) adjusts his cap while on the mound after getting into a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Freshly-minted GM Jerry DiPoto has been one of the most active GMs of the off-season. Losing Hisashi Iwakuma hurts, but DiPoto responded with the acquisitions of Wade Miley and Nate Karns,who provide some much-needed depth to a very young pitching staff.

It is interesting to note that four out of five of DiPoto’s positional acquisitions at the Major League level are left-handed bats. Nori Aoki and Adam Lind will provide some much-needed contact hitting in what was a predominately power-focused lineup. Leonys Martin slides into the crowded outfield mix and would make a great platoon partner with Shawn O’Malley. Steve Clevenger and Chris Iannetta appear to share the catching duties for the Mariners, and they’ll have a slew of new arms to catch.

While many questioned his inclusion of Carson Smith in the deal that brought Miley, DiPoto answered with the signing of Steve Cishek. Joaquin Benoit, Evan Scribner, Justin De Fratus, and Anthony Bass round out the revamped bullpen that finished 2015 in 26th place with 1.1 WAR. All-in-all, DiPoto addressed team needs head-on and brought in some new faces to ensure that the Mariners’ 2015 was nothing more than a misstep.

Next: 1. Houston Astros