Here’s is our spring-training position preview of the first-base position. Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 19.

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First base hasn’t exactly been a position of outstanding production for the Mariners in past few years from an individual or collective standpoint. It’s generally considered a premium position for offensive production in baseball, but the Mariners have not received that from their myriad players over the years.

The Justin Smoak era never materialized in three seasons, and the Logan Morrison rejuvenation project didn’t pan out.

Here are the numbers from the past few seasons:

But for 2016, new general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired Brewers first baseman Adam Lind for three lower-level minor-leaguers. Lind has a proven track record that his predecessors simply never possessed.

With Lind locked in at first base, the only intrigue at spring training surrounding first base will be the competition for his platoon partner and backup. It’s one of the few known position battles going into spring.

Here’s is our spring-training position preview of the first-base position. Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 19.

The past

The starting first-base job was virtually handed to Morrison before the 2015 season. Smoak, who was likely to not be tendered a contract, had been claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays in the offseason. The Mariners gave the job to Morrison, who had shown flashes of success in 2014 when he hit .262 with a .735 OPS with 20 doubles, 11 homers and 38 RBI in 99 games.

But Morrison never found consistency as the full-time starter. He hit just .197 with a .488 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in April. He rebounded to hit .273 with an .874 OPS in May, but couldn’t sustain it. His numbers slowly declined, and in July he hit .129 with a .482 OPS. The absence of a legitimate platoon partner for Morrison didn’t help. He was forced to start against most left-handed starters and struggled.

Meanwhile, Jesus Montero was destroying Class AAA pitching with the Tacoma Rainiers. Montero was hitting .346 with 17 doubles, six triples, 16 home runs and 75 RBI with a .938 OPS.

Then-GM Jack Zduriencik had no choice to call up Montero. Montero and Morrison shared the first-base duties with Mark Trumbo also seeing a few starts. But Montero’s Class AAA success did not translate to the big-league level in limited playing time. He hit .221 with a .661 OPS.

But by the end of the season, it became clear that neither Montero nor Morrison had proven himself to be an everyday first baseman. Trumbo’s projected $9 million price tag for 2016 and his hitting profile wasn’t likely not fit into the Mariners’ budget plans or their new philosophy. By mid-December, Dipoto had packaged Morrison in a trade to the Rays and dealt  Trumbo to the Orioles, leaving only Montero on the roster.

The present

Adam Lind of the Milwaukee Brewers hits an RBI double against the Cleveland Indians on July 22, 2015, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Mike McGinnis / Getty Images)
Adam Lind of the Milwaukee Brewers hits an RBI double against the Cleveland Indians on July 22, 2015, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Mike McGinnis / Getty Images)

Entering the offseason, considering the available first baseman and the Mariners’ budget, Lind appeared to be the best fit for the Mariners.

Dipoto has long been a fan of Lind and wanted to acquire him when he was with the Angels. Lind comes with a reputation for having a solid approach at the plate and the ability to hit right-handed pitching. His contract was perfect — a one-year commitment at $8 million.

“Adam really suits us well,” Dipoto said after the trade. “He has historically torched right-hand pitching, and there’s no reason for us to believe that will change. He gets on base. He manages the strike zone well. He doesn’t strike out much for a guy with power. He’s a good hitter and uses the field to hit. It’s a nice package for us.”

Lind isn’t like many of Dipoto’s clearance-sale signings, in which the Mariners are hoping for a bounce-back season. He had a solid 2015 season in which he hit .277 with an .820 OPS, featuring 32 doubles, 20 homers and 87 RBI.

Lind is a career .274 hitter with 228 doubles, 12 triples, 166 home runs and 606 RBI in 1,102 games with the Blue Jays (2006-2014) and Milwaukee (2015). His career on-base percentage is .332 to go along with a .466 slugging mark (.797 career OPS) while he averaged 32 doubles, 24 homers and 89 RBI over that time.

He also has consistently shown that he shouldn’t start on days when a tough opposing left-handed pitcher is starting.

His career splits are relatively drastic.

Because of those splits, the Mariners plan to run a platoon of sorts at first base. They want a right-handed hitting bench player capable of playing first base to fill in for Lind, while serving as a possible designated hitter and pinch hitter.

As of now — a big caveat based on Dipoto’s busy offseason — there are four candidates for that spot: Montero, Stefen Romero, Gaby Sanchez and Dae-Ho Lee.

Montero is out of minor-league options. He must make the 25-man roster out of spring training or be designated for assignment, which opens him up to waivers claims.

After re-committing himself to baseball last offseason, Montero has done everything the Mariners have asked to get him back the big leagues. He’s lost 40 pounds while still maintaining his strength, worked on his defense at first base and put up video-game numbers at Tacoma while waiting for his big-league opportunity .

From an organizational standpoint, it would help if Montero wins the job. But he must show he can hit big-league pitching and find a more controlled approach, which the new regime covets. There have been questions and concerns as to whether Montero’s longer swing will ever allow him to consistently hit major-league pitching. He also must show new manager Scott Servais that he can play first base.

“Jesus, he knows that,” Servais said. “He was at our hitting summit. We spent a couple days with him, talked with him, and also the defense. Just throwing somebody up there as a bat, you’ve also got to catch the ball when you go on the field, and typically those games are tight late in the game where every out is important. I hope he comes in, tears it up and really wins the job. Somebody’s going to win it. Why not him?”

Romero is an intriguing candidate. Though he has played outfield the past few seasons, he was drafted as an infielder out of Oregon State and has played third base, second base and first base in his minor-league career. If Romero were to earn that platoon spot, he also would give Servais the versatility of being able to play both corner-outfield spots.

From a hitting standpoint, Romero has been solid at the Class AAA level, but similar to many players that hasn’t carried over to the big leagues. In 2014, Romero made the opening-day roster as a platoon outfielder. But he hit just .196 with a .560 OPS. The transition from playing every day to playing on a part-time basis was a struggle for Romero.

This past season, he hit .292 with an .827 OPS, 37 doubles, 17 homers and 87 RBI for Class AAA Tacoma. In 179 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Romero hit .304 with an .859 OPS, 14 doubles, seven homers and 28 RBI.

Sanchez signed a minor-league deal after spending last season in Japan. He has played seven seasons in the big leagues and can handle the duties at first base. He’s a career .254 hitter with a .744 OPS. Against left-handed pitchers, Sanchez is a career .291 hitter with an .863 OPS. He might be the safest choice of the group.

Lee, who turns 34 in June and is signed to a minor-league deal, is the most intriguing candidate. He put up monster numbers last season for Fukuoka Softbank in the Japan Pacific League of Nippon Professional Baseball. He hit .282 with a .892 OPS with 20 doubles, 31 homers and 98 RBI in 141 games. In four seasons in the NPB — two with Orix and two with Fukuoka — Lee hit .293 (622 for 2,122) with 112 doubles, two triples, 98 home runs and 348 RBI in 570 games.

It will be interesting to see how much weight Lee has lost. The 6-foot-4 slugger weighed more than 280 pounds last season. But reports have indicated he has lost 25 to 40 pounds in the past few months while working out in Arizona.

That trimmer body should help him at first base, where he’s good around the bag but limited in range.

The future

D.J. Peterson does infield drills at third base during spring training in Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday Febr. 28, 2015.
D.J. Peterson does infield drills at third base during spring training in Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday Febr. 28, 2015.

D.J. Peterson was considered the first baseman of the future by Zduriencik. There was even some hope he could be a platoon partner with Morrison by the end of last season if he had a strong start in the minor leagues.

Instead, Peterson spent the bulk of 2015 with Class AA Jackson, and he struggled in his second season with the Generals. Peterson hit .223 (80 for 358) with 19 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 44 RBI in 93 games. Zduriencik pushed for a late call-up to Class AAA Tacoma despite the struggles. But Peterson suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury and played in just four games.

More telling were complaints from people within the organization that Peterson was stubborn and resistant to coaching and failed to adjust to pitchers who were getting him out.

Peterson didn’t receive an invite to big-league spring training this year, and he could start the season in Jackson again. He has been committed to working out this offseason and has been at the Mariners’ complex in Peoria daily under their direction.

Still, his status as the first baseman of the future has faded.

Note: Stats provided by Baseball Reference