Around the infield
Starting behind the plate, the Mariners signed veteran John Buck this offseason, presumably to help mentor Mike Zunino, give him days off and possibly DH from time to time. I expect him to make the club.
The Mariners also have four non-roster invitees to Spring Training behind the plate. Michael Dowd, John Hicks and Manuel Pena, if they stick with the organization, will most likely start in Double-A Jackson. If Humberto Quintero sticks through camp, he most likely starts in Tacoma.
Around the horn, we pretty much know that Robinson Cano, Brad Miller and Kyle Seager will be starting at 2B, SS and 3B respectively. We also can assume, for now, that Corey Hart and Justin Smoak will share duties at 1B, with Willie Bloomquist as the utility fill-in guy.
What about Nick Franklin? The subject of trade talks since the Cano signing, there simply is no room for him on the roster if the M’s sign Cruz and don’t trade someone like Smoak. So let’s assume for now that Franklin will be traded.
Taylor – the Mariners organization Minor League player of the Year, would get time in Seattle if the 25-man wasn’t so crowded. If an injury befalls Seager or Miller, I expect Taylor to be one of the first to be called up.