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Welcome To Seattle, Justin Kyle Smoak

Cliff Lee leaves the Mariners, but in his place comes Justin Smoak, a switch-hitting first baseman from the Texas Rangers. Rather than spend time in Tacoma, Smoak will become the Seattle's every day first baseman.

You couldn't have picked a better time to join us up here on Puget Sound. The temperature should be around 78 degrees at game time, and the Safeco roof should be open on this gorgeously sunny day. King Felix will be pitching tonight, so there's certain to be a crowd. And, oh, your new team will be facing the Yankees. One more thing -- any hopes you've got of seeing the postseason this year? They've just been dashed.

But don't worry, Smoak. Although right now you might be sharing your playing time with Russell Branyan, your new team didn't bring you in to help them in tonight's game, or next week, or even in September. The Mariners have you for six years, and in those years you have a chance to become a bedrock of the organization. You and Dustin Ackley need to become great buddies, because the fans are counting on you to become a solid partnership on the right side of the infield.

No pressure, though. You may have not yet proven yourself with Texas, but we like what we've seen of you in the past, both as a prospect and as a minor leaguer. Switch-hitting is always a welcome skill, and if you can do it for power, that's even better. We love the fact that you could be our very own Mark Teixeira. You've got great instincts, a good eye, and you've got the ability to defend -- something most of the Seattle fanbase now values quite highly.

Sure, many of us may have wanted Jesus Montero in return for Cliff Lee. You must admit, he's pretty shiny. But in you, Justin Kyle Smoak, the Mariners have found a first baseman around whom they can build their franchise. You give us hope for the future -- and in this season, one in which we thought we really could "Believe Big," we really need a bit of hope.