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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says offense is No. 1 free agent priority

The Seattle Mariners offense finished 2012 near the bottom of the stat pile for the third year in a row. Once again, offense will be key in this offseason.

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Sometimes even stating the obvious is a required job of the general manager. Jack Zduriencik said on Tuesday the Mariners No. 1 free agent priority this offseason was an offensive-minded guy, Jessamyn McIntire of 710 ESPN tweeted.

This isn't much of a secret, considering that for the umpteenth time in the past who knows how many years, the Seattle Mariners had one of the worst offenses in the nation. By all offensive metrics, they generally sat in the bottom five, usually only above the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros.

The Mariners as a team finished the year with the lowest slugging percentage in the majors at a paltry .368. Granted, that was an improvement off of 2011 when they were dead last at .348, and in 2010 at .339. The Mariners only had two regular players finish with a slugging percentage above .400 -- Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager. John Jaso led the team in slugging percentage but only had a shade over 350 plate appearances on the year.

The Mariners haven't had a big offensive player since they made a splash and signed Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre in 2005. But both players underperformed offensively in the cavernous dwellings of Safeco Field. Sexson eventually became the symbol for everything that was wrong with the Mariners' offense when he was eventually let go in 2008.

The Mariners made a hard push on Prince Fielder this past offseason and hoped his prior relationship with Zduriencik when the GM worked for the Milwaukee Brewers would help pay off.