JOE FANN

Fann Mail: Do the Seahawks or Mariners have the brighter future?

Nov 18, 2022, 12:00 AM

Seahawks Tariq Woolen Jordyn Brooks...

Seahawks CB Tariq Woolen celebrates an interception against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 16, 2022. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are on their bye week and the Mariners are a few days removed from their first big move of the offseason. That makes this a wonderful time to take questions for a mailbag.

Below you’ll find my thoughts on a variety of topics, and I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you who participated. Away we go!

This is a wonderful question without an obvious answer. I’ll do my best to provide the appropriate nuance required.

My gut says it’s the Mariners who possess the more promising outlook. I believe immensely in the young core of Julio Rodríguez, Cal Raleigh, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert. That core is already surrounded by other foundational pieces like Luis Castillo, Ty France, J.P. Crawford (his leadership is too profound to leave off this list) and a stable of talented bullpen arms. Seattle has already added Teoscar Hernández this offseason and could be a notable piece or two away from legitimately challenging the Astros in the American League West.

The Seahawks, while currently overachieving based on preseason expectations, still seem to lack the collection of blue-chip talent compared to the NFL’s top contenders. That’s particularly true on defense with Darrell Taylor underwhelming and Boye Mafe yet to flash consistently as a pass rusher.

But here’s the rub: the Seahawks upsetting the NFC’s elite teams in the playoffs is far more trivial than the Mariners going toe-to-toe with Houston over a five- or seven-game series. You can win playoff games in the NFL as the inferior team whereas that’s rare in baseball. We saw that on display in the ALDS where the Mariners fought like heck and couldn’t manage to win a single game against the Astros.

The most important part of this response is that each team is in terrific shape moving forward. The Seahawks are ahead of schedule and equipped with two first-round picks in 2023. The Mariners, with the aforementioned core, are in prime position to be a factor in the American League for the next 3-5 years at least. It should be a fun stretch to be a sports fan in Seattle, and that’s before you mention where the Kraken are trending.

This is another tremendous question. Selfishly, as someone who is far more emotionally invested in the Mariners success, I’d tell you it’s without question one of the big four shortstops.

But even when I take my fandom out of it, I still think the Mariners adding a top shelf shortstop is the correct response, especially if it’s Carlos Correa or Trea Turner. The M’s desperately need more offensive production in the middle of their infield and would be considered among the top World Series contenders with one of those four in tow.

The Seahawks landing a future franchise quarterback at No. 7 is the only way I’d give them the edge in this hypothetical.

I wouldn’t die on the hill of either of these first two responses as I think a case can be made for both sides. Fun questions.

It doesn’t feel possible given the Broncos won’t finish below the Texans, but Alabama’s Bryce Young is the best quarterback in the 2023 class. However, maybe Denver’s pick lands in the zone to grab C.J. Stroud?

I’ve sort of given up hope on the Mariners signing any of the top shortstops based on comments from president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto and general manager Justin Hollander, but how good would Trea Turner look in a Mariners uniform? Sheeeeeeeesh.

Related: Joe Fann’s Mariners free agent wish list for pivotal offseason

I honestly think you crushed it with those four. I can’t imagine anyone else getting traded from the 26-man roster unless it’s another bullpen arm.

My biggest curiosity is this: If the Mariners forgo the top shortstops, that means they’ll likely trade for a second baseman. Thus, what’re the odds Emerson Hancock isn’t with the organization when spring training starts? Acquiring an impact bat in the middle of the infield via trade won’t come cheap.

Defense, defense, defense. I’d have no issue with the Seahawks running it back with the exact same offense in 2023 while investing exclusively in the defense this upcoming offseason. Acquiring depth off the edge and at linebacker should be top priorities. If they look to upgrade the offense, a guard opposite Damien Lewis and a center should be at the top of Seattle’s to-do list.

We’re already at that point. The Mariners are in win-now mode and Jarred Kelenic will have to earn a potential role in spring training. Seattle shouldn’t be counting on Kelenic to be an everyday starter when it comes to potential offseason roster upgrades.

I’d prefer two years for $80 million with a rookie quarterback waiting in the wings. However, if Geno Smith continues his elite play and draws a line in the sand at four years and $160 million, the Seahawks would have to think long and hard before letting him walk. He’s been that good this season.

My biggest food hot take is that traditional Thanksgiving dinner as a whole is drastically overrated. That includes turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie – all of it. I’d much prefer pasta or some sort of barbecue with mac and cheese. Christmas breakfast/brunch is the most elite meal of the holidays. Give me eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee cake and a pitcher of mimosas on a lazy morning with the fam. Undefeated vibes.

Ooh, I can’t wait for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” but I’m also cautiously optimistic that “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” will exceed expectations.

More from Joe Fann: Seahawks’ loss to Bucs indicative of who they are on both sides

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Fann Mail: Do the Seahawks or Mariners have the brighter future?