SEATTLE (AP) — Two years ago, the Seattle Mariners went into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance at the playoffs but then missed the postseason. Then at the end of 2016, Seattle was again in contention for the playoffs only to fall short heading into the final weekend.

But once again, there is a buzz and optimism that Seattle could be on the cusp of being a breakout team next season.

"We're not the same old Mariners. We're not," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I think if people watched us closely this year, and the personalities of the team, got to see the team, they'd realize that this is a different group. ... We laid a foundation and we'll build upon that."

Seattle heads into the offseason still with the longest playoff drought in baseball — now at 15 years — but the belief it will be ending soon. Seattle was equal parts entertaining and infuriating in posting an 86-76 record that put them on the outside of the AL playoff picture.