It is now July which means the trading deadline, August 2nd of this year, is right around the corner. Then each team looks through their roster and decides what they need, what they can part with and, perhaps more importantly, which players they absolutely must not lose.
So which player on each team is considered the most untouchable? The one guy you can (fairly) guarantee won’t trade for the next month? We do this exercise every year, and it changes a bit from year to year.
Here is the untouchable player of each team in this trade deadline season.
Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B
The Jays have until 2025 to work out an extension for their global superstar. One can’t help but wonder if now that he’s having a down year (at least for him) is the right time.
Orioles: Adleyrutschman, C
The slow start is over. He’s started smashing the ball… and the Orioles are looking their best in half a decade. He will be at the center of everything that happens in Baltimore.
Rays: Wander Franco, SS
You never know with the Rays – they’ve traded away supposedly untouchable players before – but you don’t commit a player like this to an extension while the Rays have it (11 years!) unless you plan to build around him.
Red Socks: Rafael Devers, 3B
The Red Sox are tricky because not so long ago we all thought they could trade Xander Bogaerts or Rafael Devers if they fell out. It’s fair to say you’re not out of the running. Devers’ MVP season is a big reason for that; This was the best year of an already stellar career. They still have a year and a half to work out an extension. He’s not going anywhere.
Yankees: Aaron Judge, OF
That’s a bit of a scam because the Yankees are having a historic year and Judge is having a historic year and he’s a free agent at the end of the year so there wouldn’t be any point in trading him no matter what. It’s just funny to imagine what would happen if the Yankees traded him anyway.
Guardian: José Ramírez, 3B
That five-year, $124 million contract extension he signed in April looks almost team-friendly the way he’s playing right now. And that could end up being a playoff team.
Royals: Bobby Witt Jr., 3B/SS
The royals are a mess at the moment, and the rise is going to be particularly steep. But whatever they do, they’re going to do it with Witt front and center.
Tiger: Riley Greene, OF
Now that they’ve called him, you can get a glimpse of what their future might hold. Even if the present isn’t nearly as pleasant as everyone had hoped. You may have said Spencer Torkelson here a few months ago, but his slow start has been a bit confusing for those following his rise through the Minors.
Twins: Byron Buxton, CF
They’ve extended it to 2028, which means they’re building everything around it. We’ve seen what happens and what the twins are capable of when he’s healthy.
White socks: Luis Robert, CF
His contract locks him up in Chicago during his physical prime (until 2027), and he’s still as high as any other player in the game.
Angels: Mike Trout, OF
It’s still Trout, in part because of his massive contract. But just so you know… Shohei Ohtani is a free agent post-2023 season, and it wouldn’t be entirely shocking if we heard some trade speculation this winter.
Astros: Jordan Alvarez, DH
He could end up building one of the greatest designated hitter careers of all time.
Athletics: Shea Langeliers, C
The A’s will trade essentially anything that’s not nailed down as part of their rebuild, but they’ve just brought Atlanta’s Langeliers into the Matt Olson deal, and he’s their #1 prospect.
Sailors: Julio Rodríguez, OF
What do you think you would have to give up now to get Julio Rodríguez? Start with your entire stadium and then figure out what to add to the package.
Rangers: Corey Seager, SS
He’s here to not only provide excitement for the fanbase, but a player who will be an anchor for the franchise for the next decade. This is not an A-Rod situation.
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr., RF
He’s not even 100 percent healthy and he’s still one of the best fielders in baseball. Now he has to get his own World Series title.
Marlin: Sandy Alcantara, RHP
By some standards, he was baseball’s best pitcher this year (and the leader in our latest NL Cy Young poll). The Marlins have him locked up until 2026 for a very reasonable price.
Mets: Jacob deGrom, RHP
Sure, he can get out of his contract this winter. But the Mets haven’t waited all this time for him to just send him out now.
Nationals: Juan Soto, RF
Yes, yes, I’ve read all your articles about “five possible targets for Soto”. It still doesn’t happen.
Phillies: Bryce Harper, RF/DH
We’re about to see just how irreplaceable Bryce Harper really is.
Brewer: Corbin Burnes, RHP
He has two more years of arbitration ahead of him, which will continue to make him one of baseball’s best values.
Cardinals: Tommy Edman, INF
He’s one of the best players in baseball, he can play anywhere on the diamond, all the Cardinals players say he’s their favorite player, he hasn’t even started arbitration. There is literally nothing not to like.
Pirates: Oneil Cruz, SS
After his appearance on his MLB season debut, he was the talk of baseball for about three full days. That’s called making an impression.
Red: Hunter Greene, RHP
He hasn’t put everything together yet, at least not for long, but it sure looks like it won’t be long before he does.
D-back: Ketel Marte, 2B
He’s now signed after an off-season contract extension until 2027, and remember, he’s still only 28 years old.
Dodgers: Mookie Betts, RF
He signed one of the most expensive contracts in baseball history and still remains an absolute steal. He’ll be here for a while.
Giants: Mike Yastrzemski, RF
The Giants are a tough team for this category, but Little Yaz seems like as good a bet as any to stay in: Keep in mind he somehow has three years of arbitration left.
Father: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
Hopefully he’ll be back soon and make us forget he was ever gone.
Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B/OF
I mean, they probably couldn’t trade him right now given his big contract and injury worries, but this is still the guy they envision will be a big part of their next playoff team.