Seattle Mariners: 10 Reasons the M's Can Compete in the AL West in 2012

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Seattle Mariners: 10 Reasons the M's Can Compete in the AL West in 2012
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The AL West is no AL East, but as a division, it is on the rise.

The Texas Rangers will start 2012 with the same outstanding hitting they have had for the past two years and that has earned them the AL pennant. They also bought the rights to negotiate with Japanese phenom Yu Darvish, who could be a smash hit (or a Matsuzaka-esque bust) should they sign him.

The LA Angels secured the top free agent of the season in Albert Pujols. They finished five games over .500 last year, and that margin could increase with their new all-star first baseman.

The Oakland Athletics are of the least concern to the Mariners, since Billy Beane likes to trade away his best players before they can have any sizable impact on the win column but still a force to be reckoned with.

So can the Mariners keep up in 2012? Here are 10 reasons why they can, and will, compete for the top spot in the AL West.

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