Over time, this organization has the potential to do big, even huge, things. But in a metaphorical sense your expectations for 2016 should be for the Mariners to just put a little meat on their bones.

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Maybe this sounds like loser talk to you.

It certainly isn’t the kind of thing you’d hear out of Gene Hackman’s mouth in “Hoosiers” or Al Pacino’s in “Any Given Sunday.”

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No whoops or cheers have ever followed a speech in which an MLB manager said “OK boys, let’s go show the world we can win 83 games!” But let’s be real — for the Mariners, that would be a good total.

Think of this year as the first month in a bodybuilding program in which the Mariners are David Spade. Their sixth-worst bullpen ERA last year represents six-inch biceps, their baserunning blunders are yardstick thighs, and their 76 wins are the ribs sticking out of their chest.

Over time, this organization has the potential to do big, even huge, things. But in a metaphorical sense your expectations for 2016 should be for the Mariners to just put a little meat on their bones.

More simply put: Anything above .500 would indicate significant progress. That might seem like a pessimistic projection based on the Mariners’ 87 wins in 2014, but it’s fair.

When Jerry Dipoto took over as general manager last September, he inherited a pair-less hand with no flush or straight draws. But if his offseason overhaul produces six or seven more victories than last year, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect that uptick to continue for seasons to come.

First, let’s take a look at some of the changes Dipoto made and how they might impact the team. Few will dispute that relief pitching was Seattle’s most glaring deficiency — and Jerry went “Extreme Makeover” on the pen.

Fernando Rodney, Tom Wilhelmsen, Danny Farquhar, Carson Smith, Joe Beimel? They’re all gone. Joaquin Benoit, Steve Cishek, Justin De Fratus, Evan Scribner, Ryan Cook? They all came in.

The shake-up appeared that it might have potential, except … Scribner and Cook are already hurt, and De Fratus was released and re-signed to a minor-league deal.

It’s a long season, and Scribner and Cook might still return to make positive contributions. However, in terms of improving the bullpen, this feels a little like a surgeon trying to repair an ACL and accidentally tearing the meniscus in the process.

But that’s just one area of the team. A vital area, yes, but there were plenty of other personnel moves that might turn into upgrades.

Adam Lind taking over at first base, for instance, could be a major plus. Chris Iannetta behind the plate might very well add some weight to the win column. The addition of Wade Miley to complement the retention of Hisashi Iwakuma also has the potential to thrust this team into contender status.

At this point, however, we just don’t know. Dipoto’s plan is an elaborate paint-by-number scheme that will take 162 games to materialize. Could it be an A-plus effort that ends the Mariners’ MLB-leading playoff drought? Maybe. But it’s not all too often that a team with a middling payroll such as Seattle finds 12 to 15 wins out of thin air.

It’s important to look at where the Mariners fit in their division, too. Likely at the top is a Houston team that has gone from 51 wins in 2013 to 70 in 2014 to 86 last year. And given how the Astros have retained most of their talent, you can expect them to get even better. There also are the Angels, who won 85 games last year but are projected by Fangraphs to win 81, and an Oakland team that, yes, went 68-94 last year projected to go 80-82.

Hey, Fangraphs also predicted the Nationals would win close to a 100 games last year, and they missed the playoffs. But if you’re looking for a source of optimism, it’s the fact that no true Titan (like the Cubs, Dodgers, etc.) appears to reside in the American League West.

Still, though the making the postseason would be a thrill for fans, missing it shouldn’t be seen as a catastrophe. This is the first season of a new regime, and progress should equal pride.

Just ask a bodybuilder. Before you set the bar high, you have to get it off your chest.