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Justin Smoak expects to start at 1B

Justin Smoak says he's not threatened that new Seattle Mariners acquisitions Corey Hart and Logan Morrison will significantly reduce his playing time at first base.

"I feel like it's somewhat my job to lose," Smoak said, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. "It's always good to have more bats. After losing guys like [Kendrys] Morales and [Raul] Ibanez, you've added a couple of more [bats]. I'm ready to get this thing going."

Morales is still on the free-agent market while Ibanez signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December.

Smoak and the Mariners avoided arbitration Saturday by agreeing on a contract that guarantees the first baseman $2,787,500 and could be worth up to $8,287,500 over two years.

Smoak, 27, hit a career-high 20 homers last season but batted just .238. He improved after a stint on the disabled list in June, raising his average to .274 in early August before a swoon over the final six weeks of the season. He also ranked fifth among AL first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage.

Manager Lloyd McClendon says the Mariners are trying to work with Smoak on becoming a better all-around hitter, not just a slugger.

He said ultimately, Smoak's performance at the plate will determine if he gets the majority of time at first base.

"He's going to play first base and DH a little bit. One thing I know is the manager doesn't make out the lineup," he said, according to the newspaper. "You go out and go 3-for-4, hit a home run and drive in four runs ... somehow, your name is in the lineup the next day. Your performance will dictate what the lineup is."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.