PartnersDownload App

MLB Trade Rumors: Each MLB Team's Top Prospect They Refuse to Trade

Matt TruebloodSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2016

MLB Trade Rumors: Each MLB Team's Top Prospect They Refuse to Trade

1 of 31

    Jesus Montero never got the 'untouchable' banner during his ascent through the Yankees system, and so when they dealt him to the Seattle Mariners for sophomore star pitcher Michael Pineda, it registered as only a moderate surprise. If The Washington Nationals traded Bryce Harper, or if the Tampa Bay Rays traded Matt Moore, it would not be a moderate anything. It would be a seismic event.

    Untouchable prospects get talked about less and less lately, largely because the value of prospects in trade has gone sky-high in the past decade. Teams grab the best prospects they can with every intention of keeping them, and have come to expect more and more for those guys. Therefore, virtually anyone can be had, but only at the right price.

    There are exceptions to that rule, though. Here are the prospects in each team's system whom other clubs might as well write off, because they are not going anywhere. For a bit of spice, look for the notable absence from each team's list, too. Those are the guys who might just get dealt.

Arizona Diamondbacks

2 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Trevor Bauer, the Diamondbacks' top pick in last year's June draft, is already a part of the plans going forward. If he isn't in the big leagues sometime in late 2012, they expect him to be there by 2013. Arizona would love to trade for a bit of help somewhere at midseason, since they're clearly building for the now, but Bauer is off the table.
    • Archie Bradley, Anthony Meo and Andrew Chafin all also entered the organization via the same draft, within the top 75 picks. Only Bradley has substantial work to do; Chafin and Meo will be the kind of reinforcement arms the Snakes will covet come 2013.

    Notable Absence:

    Tyler Skaggs, acquired in the Dan Haren trade, is the kind of pitcher who could net Arizona a hefty return this summer. He's really blossomed as a prospect since interim GM Jerry Dipoto landed him.

    Arizona may now prefer to have him as insurance against injury down the stretch, but if they get a chance to go for broke in 2012 or even 2013, they may take it by dealing Skaggs to fill a hole.

Atlanta Braves

3 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Julio Teheran is as advanced a pitching prospect for his age as baseball has seen in years. He has an easy delivery, a natural feel for the spin on a major league breaking ball, great velocity and the changeup to keep hitters off it. If he doesn't establish himself as part of the Atlanta rotation this spring or summer, he will do it next year; no one trades a talent this rare.
    • Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino might end up in the bullpen, but they throw hard and have wicked stuff. The sheer depth of Atlanta's pitching is probably the only thing that stopped them from playing larger roles in 2011. They will be there in 2012.
    • Given the very open questions about Atlanta's shortstop situation for the foreseeable future, they probably will hold onto Andrelton Simmons. He's very raw, but has a rocket arm and should hit enough to be a solid player there, someday.

    Notable Absence:

    Mike Minor rated too highly in the team's esteem for them to let him go in trade last summer, but the target then was Carlos Beltran. If someone were to offer them a more certain commodity who could hit and vault them into the NL East race in July, the Braves might reconsider their stance on their solid lefty.

Baltimore Orioles

4 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Manny Machado is one of the five or six best prospects in the game. Currently a shortstop, he may have to move to third base some day at the rate he's growing. Even there, though, his bat would play at star level. His hands are good enough to make him a plus defender at whichever position he chooses.
    • Dylan Bundy, whom the Orioles took with the fourth overall pick in last year's draft, is as advanced a high-school pitching prospect as anyone since Josh Beckett. 

    Notable Absence:

    Jon Schoop is greater than the sum of his parts, an infield prospect who probably has a long major league career in front of him. He's not likely ever to be a major impact piece, though, so he's the kind of player new O's baseball chief Dan Duquette should flip to a contender at his earliest opportunity. Given Baltimore's position, they should always choose high ceilings over high floors.

Boston Red Sox

5 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • After concerns about arm problems depressed Anthony Ranaudo's draft value, he proved himself healthy and talented enough in the Cape Cod League for the Red Sox to sign him and stick him in Single-A right off the bat in 2011. He's not going to be an ace, but he should be a solid mid-rotation option and presents little risk of implosion.
    • In 2011, Jose Iglesias got his first taste of MLB, and it didn't go all that well. The best defensive shortstop prospect in baseball didn't look like it, as he struggled afield and at bat. Still, he's so close to being major league ready that trading him anytime this year would be a nonsensical short-sell on a player whose stock is as low as it will get.

    Notable Absence:

    Though he has massive upside, Xander Bogaerts is a risky prospect, too. He currently plays shortstop, but might well end up in a corner outfield or at first base. His bat has to be really, really good to make him an asset there. It should be, but a big-market team like Boston can sometimes afford to make someone else lay that wager. They could get a serious difference-maker for a package centered around Bogaerts.

Chicago Cubs

6 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • The Cubs' January trade for Anthony Rizzo marked the third time Jason McLeod and Jed Hoyer have acquired the slugging first-base prospect. Theo Epstein has now grabbed Rizzo twice. No other top executive in baseball has ever believed in Rizzo as much as these three, so don't expect them to let him go anytime soon.
    • During his introductory press conference, Epstein noted that the Cubs impressed him with their aggressiveness during last June's draft. Accordingly, don't expect the new regime to let go of Javier Baez, Dillon Maples, Dan Vogelbach or any of the team's other high-upside draftees anytime soon.

    Notable Absence:

    It's unlikely the rebuilding Cubs will part with any significant prospect in the next year or so. Then again, they made 2008 first-round pick Andrew Cashner available this winter, and dealt him in the Rizzo deal. The team's 2007 and 2009 first-rounders (Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson) remain touted prospects, though the former has some clear adjustments to make before he has a chance to contribute in the big leagues. It's not impossible that another team might value one of them more highly than does the new Cubs triad. McLeod damned Jackson with somewhat faint praise in a recent Chicago Tribune article.

Chicago White Sox

7 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Remember, "untouchable" used to refer to people suffering from leprosy, meaning not so much prized as unclean or undesirable. Most of the White Sox's prospects are untouchable, not quite in that way, but because no other team in baseball would get a measurable bump from the arrival of those players in their system. The Sox have a dreadful farm.

    Notable Absence:

    One player who might actually be available, however counter-intuitively, is Addison Reed. An explosive, quick-moving bullpen arm, Reed climbed the ladder all the way to the parent club in 2011. He's easily the organization's best prospect.

    That said, he is a relief pitcher. He should be a closer by 2013, if not the end of this year, but that's all he will ever be. He is not a piece a rebuilding team like Chicago should covet, and if the (say) Angels were to offer a long-term asset with a higher ceiling for Reed in July, the Sox would be fools not to accept.

Cincinnati Reds

8 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • When they dealt Yasmani Grandal and allowed Ramon Hernandez to leave via free agency, Cincinnati implicitly confirmed its lasting faith in Devin Mesoraco. He should be their starting catcher by Opening Day, or the All-Star break at the latest. There will be no prying him away from the Reds.
    • There's enough uncertainty about Billy Hamilton's bat to suppress his perceived value, but too much upside in his speed to permit the Reds to trade him for less than a true impact player. That Hamilton was not in Cincinnati's offseason deal for Mat Latos shows they do not plan to let him go.

    Notable Absence:

    Didi Gregorious looks like he will be able to hit a little, and a little is enough for a lefty-hitting, glove-first shortstop. The Reds like Zack Cozart a whole lot, though, so if they have a hole to fill this season, Gregorious is the sort of attractive piece they are in position to dangle.

Cleveland Indians

9 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Even the Indians have been thoroughly impressed by Francisco Lindor thus far after drafting and signing him last summer. He's not close to the big leagues, but he's an overwhelming potential talent, and the team should not even listen past his name in trade negotiations.
    • Nick Hagadone and Zach McAllister will not light up anything. They are complementary arms, one in the bullpen, the other probably a back-end starter. Still, as essentially actualized talents, they have more value in Cleveland (where the stakes are high this season and pitching depth may be at issue) than elsewhere.

    Notable Absence:

    Cleveland should stop waiting for Nick Weglarz to figure it out, and probably already have done so. This is a team with hopes of contending in the AL Central this year. Weglarz was hurt last season, but if he has any kind of success at Double- or Triple-A in the first half, he's exactly the sort of player Chris Antonetti should trade to a team willing to bet on a turnaround. Weglarz was once a top-60 prospect, and guys like that get a lot of chances.

Colorado Rockies

10 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Colorado has always been a team very much attached to its young players, so most of their valuable prospects are very much out of reach for other GMs. Dan O'Dowd will be particularly impatient with those who pursue Drew Pomeranz, Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario. Those three will be established Rockies stars (or not, but Rockies either way) by the middle of this season.

    Notable Absence:

    Technically, Tim Wheeler is a five-tool outfield prospect. Unfortunately, none of his tools grade out much above-average. That's still a player with value and upside, especially if he can play center field. If the Rockies are in the hunt, though, they're likely to need an extra piece, and Wheeler (thanks the organization's terrific depth in the outfield) would be first to go in that scenario.

Detroit Tigers

11 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Miguel Cabrera's shift to third base has precisely zero impact on top third-base prospect Nick Castellanos. That sentence deserves to be read twice for effect. Not only will Cabrera be a DH or first baseman by the time Castellanos reaches the major leagues, but no team in its right mind alters its plans for a 20-year-old with Evan Longoria upside simply because he wouldn't fit on the club right that minute. He's not going to be dealt.

    Notable Absence:

    Jacob Turner trade rumors would have died much faster and much more easily if trading him weren't such an obvious, seemingly inevitable course for this team. They need to win in the next two or three years, and it may be three or four before Turner is anywhere near the front-line starter the team expects he will become.

    He is a better player to have, in a vacuum, than Matt Garza. For Detroit, though, Garza (or whomever of his ilk may become available soon) is the better fit.

Houston Astros

12 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • An alarming lack of high-end young talent makes the situation facing the awful Astros even more dire than their 106-loss season suggests it is. That makes nearly all their best farmhands untouchable. They will be especially reluctant, though, to trade new acquisitions Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and George Springer. They acquired all three last season and count all three as future stars for their next contending team (in five or six years, at the earliest).

    Notable Absence:

    Though not technically prospects after getting healthy tastes of the big leagues in 2011, both Jose Altuve and Jordan Lyles are well-considered throughout the game for their high floors as players. Altuve should be a solid platoon second baseman or second-division regular, while Lyles could be anything from a No. 2 to a fifth starter when he reaches his peak. Since both are likely to have their best years before the Astros are any good again, though, trading them when they appear to be amid breakouts might make sense.

Kansas City Royals

13 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Kansas City could have had Gio Gonzalez this winter for a package beginning with Wil Myers. Their refusal to pull that trigger demonstrates what should probably be clear, anyway. Myers is one of the best positional prospects in baseball, and the Royals have cast their lot with him.
    • Arguably no player drafted last June has a ceiling to match that of Bubba Starling, who might just be the next Mike Trout. He's a long, long way from the big leagues, but the Royals will not give up on him anytime in the next few years.

    Notable Absence:

    The pitching depth of this system means the team could flip Jeremy Jeffress (whose stock only rose last season, after they got him from the Brewers) or Kelvin Herrera in the right deal. They might well be Matt Garza suitors at midseason if the first half goes well.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

14 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Mike Trout. Duh.
    • Although injuries stunted the development of Jean Segura slightly in 2011, he's a prospect at a position (shortstop) where the Angels might soon have need. Even if they don't need him in a strict sense, Mike Scioscia's love of Maicer Izturis, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick (to name only the current few) suggests he will advocate for Segura as a long-term part of the organization.
    • Garrett Richards is a low-ceiling hurler, a fifth starter. That has value for Anaheim, though, because they want to win within the next two years, and Richards could very capably fill the last hole in their rotation by April 2013.

    Notable Absence:

    All C.J. Cron did in 2011 was run up a 1.000 OPS in 159 Pioneer League plate appearances. He hit 13 home runs in the two months after the Angels drafted him 17th overall and signed him almost immediately.

    Cron should move quickly, but he's a bat-only prospect. If he doesn't play first base in the big leagues, he's going to be a DH. The Angels much prefer athletic, well-rounded prospects, so if they see a need for an impact addition within the next year or two, Cron could be one of the first players they try to foist off on a potential trade partner.

Los Angeles Dodgers

15 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Chad Billingsley's inability to progress and improve year-to-year is now officially a concern, but the Dodgers think they have his replacement already in-house. Nate Eovaldi is tall and strong like Billingsley, though leaner. He throws hard and has a tough mentality on the mound. Ned Colletti would be hard-pressed to part with Eovaldi, given the imminent potential losses of Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. None is signed past 2013.

    Notable Absence:

    Toolsy and unproven, outfield prospect James Baldwin (son of the eponymous former White Sox hurler) is precisely the sort of prospect the Dodgers have a habit of letting go too quickly. If they contend this season (unlikely, but far from impossible), Los Angeles might well deal Baldwin to a team who could spare a quality bat.

Miami Marlins

16 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Greensboro was the team to watch for Marlins fans in 2011. Their Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League yielded not one, but two breakout seasons from outfield prospects with big ceilings. Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna could be the next Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, and trading Morrison or Gaby Sanchez would make more sense for Miami than letting either of these young sluggers get away.

    Notable Absence:

    The signing of Jose Reyes, and concordant shift of Hanley Ramirez to third base, illustrate that the Marlins understand as well as nearly everyone else in baseball: Matt Dominguez might not ever hit enough to be a major league regular.

    That said, it only takes one team. If someone has faith in Dominguez's bat, or simply think they can fix him, Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill can make their erstwhile top prospect the centerpiece of a profitable trade sometime this season.

Milwaukee Brewers

17 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Milwaukee has a terrific top trio in their starting rotation right now, but for how long, no one knows. As it stands, this could be the last season Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum spend with the Brewers. As such, 2011 mover and right-handed powerhouse Wily Peralta is one piece the team figures not to even toy with trading.

    Notable Absence: 

    Tyler Thornburg had a scintillating season in 2011, pitching to a 2.57 ERA over two levels. He did not reach Double-A, though, and isn't a candidate to contribute positively to the team this season or next. If Milwaukee feels they have a competitive window but a year or two wide, they would be wise to consider trading Thornburg in search of a short-term upgrade at first base. Twin 2011 picks Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley make Thornburg replaceable.

Minnesota Twins

18 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Joe Benson is a finished prospect product. He may not be anything special, but he can be a mid-range regular if he adjusts to the big leagues well. Given Minnesota's somewhat unreliable outfield depth and injury troubles, Benson should even make his mark in Minneapolis this summer.
    • Short-season rookie leaguers rarely crack 20 home runs in a season. Miguel Sano did it, though, and still has prospect people buzzing about how. He's a mammoth of a man, more likely to be confined to left field or first base than at shortstop and third, where he has been so far. Still, his bat is explosive, and the Twins will not bet against him.

    Notable Absence:

    With a stellar collection of tools, Aaron Hicks was once a no-doubt untouchable. He still hasn't put things together, though, despite over 1,500 minor-league plate appearances. His .722 OPS in 2011 wasn't awful for the Florida State League, but it hardly represents the step forward for which the Twins hoped. The right player, one who would make the Twins competitive within the next year or two, might entice them to deal Hicks.

New York Mets

19 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • No one is higher than the Mets on Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia or Jenrry Mejia. That quartet of high-ceiling arms could end up taking the ball 140 times combined for a Mets pennant-winner someday. In their case, an equal chance probably puts them all in the Mets' bullpen in three years, pitching well but having limited value. Still, GM Sandy Alderson and company believe in the rosier scenario, and likely will not trade any of the four.

    Notable Absence:

    Hyping prospects from the big teams on the East Coast is nothing new, but people really ramped it up for Wilmer Flores. He was supposed to bloom into an All-Star shortstop, something similar to what people now think Manny Machado will be. It never happened, and though some of the tools remain shiny enough to lure potential buyers, the Mets' patience for Flores has worn thin.

New York Yankees

20 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Trading Jesus Montero eased the process of procuring a spot on the roster for Austin Romine, though for how long, who knows. Gary Sanchez and Romine will eventually have to fight over the catching gig in the Bronx, and though neither is trade fodder for the next year or two, Romine might be available beginning in 2015 or so.
    • Manny Banuelos can take comfort from the team's acquisition of Michael Pineda, as they clearly do not see pitchers as good free-agent investments. Hiroki Kuroda's contract ends after 2012; so should Banuelos's time in the minors.

    Notable Absence:

    Dellin Betances is big and intimidating, but many factors—from his injury history to his delivery, and including his inability to develop a third pitch—suggest he's a reliever in the long run. If the Yankees need some reinforcement near the trade deadline, look for them to trade Betances to some team who envisions him as a starter.

Oakland Athletics

21 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Most of Oakland's top prospects came to the system just this winter, so we can safely assume Billy Beane is pretty high on those guys right now. Since Beane recently re-upped to be the head man in Oakland through 2019, count A.J. Cole, Derek Norris, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Jarrod Parker, Colin Cowgill and Sonny Gray as untouchable for awhile.
    • Michael Choice is a heck of an offensive outfield prospect, the best power hitter in the system. He's not going anywhere, either.

    Notable Absence:

    Grant Green began 2011 as a shortstop prospect, and ended it as a center-field prospect. That's not a huge downgrade in value, but more will certainly be expected of his bat now that he has failed to stick on the infield.

    He has a solid line-drive swing, but a crummy approach (more than three strikeouts for each walk in his pro career) and little power projection. He's not very polished for a collegiate draftee coming up on three years in the pros. Beane might feel Green has more value on the market than on the diamond.

Philadelphia Phillies

22 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Ruben Amaro has a track record, and that track record makes it hard to label any Phillies farmhand out of reach. Pitchers Brody Colvin, Trevor May, Phillippe Aumont and Jesse Biddle come closest.

    Notable Absence:

    Something about the name Domonic Brown just hits Amaro's ear wrong. He will not give the strong young outfielder a chance, so he had better at least be smart enough to trade him this summer if the Phillies need help.

Pittsburgh Pirates

23 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Gerrit Cole already has guaranteed money and a 40-man roster spot. He's a rare pitcher, with a true-ace ceiling. He's part of the plans in Pittsburgh. So are co-ace candidates Jameson Taillon and Luis Heredia.
    • Outfielders Starling Marte and Josh Bell have tremendous upside, and if the team can keep any hope of retaining Andrew McCutchen for the long haul, they surely dream of flanking him with Marte and Bell.

    Notable Absence:

    For some players, the Arizona Fall League becomes a bit of a red herring. Guys can look really, really good there without actually being really, really good. So it was with Robbie Grossman. He tore up the Florida State League in 2011, making his second circuit there at age 21. He then posted a 1.057 OPS in the AFL, which really put him on the map.

    In truth, though, his stock might never rise higher than it is at this moment, and the Bucs might well deal him if they're more legitimately positioned for a playoff run this July than they were last. Then, they wisely hedged their bets. This year, they might be more aggressive.

San Diego Padres

24 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • The Padres roll really deep in their farm system, with perhaps 20 prospects who would make many teams' top 10. On the other hand, they lack star power, which is why they dealt Anthony Rizzo and acquired Yonder Alonso this winter. Clearly, the new management under Josh Byrnes covers higher-ceiling talent, so dreamy studs like Donovan Tate, Rymer Liriano and Austin Hedges are certainly safe.
    • Mike Adams was a well-played pawn for the rebuilding Padres last summer, a sacrificial lamb who netted two terrific pitchers to fit PETCO Park. Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin should be in San Diego by 2013, and are not in danger of being dealt.

    Notable Absence: 

    Casey Kelly was the centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez trade a year ago, but might not even be the third-best pitching prospect in the San Diego system right now. He could eventually mean more to another franchise than to this one.

San Francisco Giants

25 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • There were questions about Gary Brown's bat and power potential entering 2011. In fact, those were about the only doubts anyone had about him. His speed and defensive chops certainly were not in question. 

      Even for the California League, .336/.407/.519 is a pretty substantial answer to those doubters. Brown also stole 53 bases. 

    Notable Absence:

    Eric Surkamp is a good left-handed pitching prospect; he is not a great one. Hector Sanchez is a good catching prospect; he is not a great one. Guys like that tend not to survive long in Brian Sabean farm systems, as Sabean likes trading for veterans when his team is in contention. Surkamp and Sanchez had better chances of sticking around last summer, when it appeared the team might move Buster Posey away from the catcher's position, and when the team seemed less likely to find long-term agreements with Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

Seattle Mariners

26 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Jesus Montero will not be a prospect for much longer, but given the investment Jack Zduriencik just made in the young catcher/DH, he should be a Mariner for life. He's a lock to stay put, too, because other organizations now see how much they would have to give up to get him.
    • Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton are a formidable trio of pitching prospects, if indeed such a thing exists. Walker has the highest ceiling but the lowest floor, Hultzen the highest floor but the lowest ceiling. None is the type of player Seattle will be trading anytime soon.

    Notable Absence:

    Zduriencik just got Chance Ruffin in the trade that sent Doug Fister to the Tigers last summer, but he may soon be the second GM to trade the reliever-profile hurler. Ruffin was a top-50 pick in the 2010 June draft.

St. Louis Cardinals

27 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Though lacking a bit in makeup, Shelby Miller is among the top five or six pitching prospects in baseball. He's not the sort of player one trades unless one has a glaring hole in an otherwise World Series-ready roster. The Cardinals will not be in that position soon.
    • Oscar Taveras has a vicious, scary swing and he produces vicious, scary line drives and towering flies with it. It's not impossible to see Bryce Harper in that swing, and though the rest of the package is less pretty, the Cardinals are not going to trade that kind of high-risk, high-reward slugger.

    Notable Absence:

    Some out there still see Carlos Martinez as a starting pitcher. The number is dwindling, though, and the reports have lost their gusto. Martinez is bullpen-bound, but if the Cardinals need something in July and still have Martinez starting by then, they may be able to make a big profit in a deal.

Tampa Bay Rays

28 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Matt. Moore. After the contract he signed this winter, any deal for Moore had better start with your best prospect, and your best MLB player, at no financial cost. START with those things. It isn't going to happen.
    • Hak-Ju Lee came over in the Matt Garza deal, and had a great first season in the Rays' system. He's very slightly built and might not ever be a top-of-the-order hitter, but his realistic upside is still a whole lot better than those of Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac. Don't expect Tampa to give up on him, or on fellow former Cubs farmhand Chris Archer. Archer fits the organizational pitching philosophy to a tee.

    Notable Absence:

    Once the first overall pick, Tim Beckham isn't regarded that highly anymore. Still, he has promise, and showed his first positive progress in a couple years last season. He should be a shortstop prospect of note, but is the second-best at his own level in the system. Alex Torres is a candidate to be bundled with Beckham in some deal.

Texas Rangers

29 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Jurickson Profar is, for me, in league with Mike Trout, Matt Moore and Bryce Harper. None of them should be traded under any circumstance, and none will be.
    • Martin Perez has done just enough with his struggles the past two years to have some people dinging his value. Since his upside appears unchanged, though, and since the Rangers have already dealt two very good pitching prospects within the last year, it's a good time not to short-sell Perez.

    Notable Absence:

    With Adrian Beltre holding down third base for the foreseeable future and Mike Olt close to ready to contribute in the big leagues, look for the Rangers to shop their slugging hot-corner prospect if they need a really high-impact guy near the deadline. That could be Matt Garza, if their risky starting rotation doesn't reward them. More likely, though, Olt would be part of an exchange for an impact left-handed bat. Logan Morrison, Andre Ethier and Justin Morneau come to mind.

Toronto Blue Jays

30 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • Recently the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay deal, Travis d'Arnaud has become arguably the best catching prospect in baseball. He's a stud defender with the ceiling of a solid MLB fifth hitter, the kind of guy who makes many All-Star teams.
    • Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick are a scary-gifted pair of athletes. Neither is the most polished baseball player one might hope for in the outfield, but their physical tools suggest they could be great. Toronto needs to gamble on risky positional prospects like these in order to come up with more Brett Lawrie-level impact bats.

    Notable Absence:

    Numerous pitchers in the Blue Jays organization would be untouchable on other teams, but the sheer volume there (perhaps seven or eight such hurlers could be future mid-rotation starters) makes each expendable. None of the group is an ace-in-waiting.

Washington Nationals

31 of 31

    Untouchables:

    • There's this Harper guy...
    • Anthony Rendon might have been the best player available in last June's draft. Injury questions allowed him to fall to sixth, where the Nats gobbled him up. They probably still have grins on their faces over that one, and aren't likely to wipe them off soon.

    Notable Absence:

    The notable absence here is of anyone else worth making untouchable. Washington really unloaded its farm system in order to land Gio Gonzalez; that may have been a mistake. The 2011 draft looks really, really good, but their best current trade chip is outfielder Michael Taylor.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices