From young players, top prospects or veteran leaders, every team has that one player with whom they are unwilling to part.
This is an age where players are frequently shuffled around from city to city and few stay in one place for long. The temptation to trade up, slice payroll or make other improvements is always there.
But teams are reluctant to move some players for a variety of reasons. It could be the team’s star or a younger guy they see as the future of the franchise.
Here is a look at each team’s current “untouchable” player.
25-year old hurler Jake Arrieta is part of the future of the Orioles. As one of their best, young pitchers, Arrieta is untouchable right now.
In his rookie season, Arrieta posted a 6-6 record with a 4.66 ERA over 100.1 innings. He has developed a bit in the offseason and is showing improvement.
Arrieta should be in Baltimore for a while.
Currently in his sixth season with the Red Sox, Jon Lester is going to be a franchise player over the long haul.
In 2010, Lester fell only one game short of 20 wins during a season where the Sox were plagued with injuries. The Sox landed in third place for the year, but Lester was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season.
Lester is off to another hot start in 2011, going 4-1 in his first seven starts with a 2.33 ERA. At only 27 years of age, Lester has a lot more gas left in the tank.
Before the 2008 season, the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez to a record-setting 10-year, $275 million contract. He will be 42 years old when the contract expires.
Saying that Rodriguez is "untouchable" is a foregone conclusion. You do not sign a player for 10 years and then try to trade him.
Even if the Yankees ever wanted to trade him, there are no other teams in the league with pockets deep enough to pay him.
Basically, A-Rod is going to be a Yankee until body parts begin to fall off.
At just 25 years of age, David Price already has more than two full years experience in the majors. And those years have been very successful ones.
Price had a great 2010 season, missing 20 wins by just a single game. His 2.72 ERA over 208.2 innings pitched was impressive, especially for a young player.
Those numbers, plus his 188 strikeouts, lead the team in 2010.
On May 5, 2011 against the Blue Jays, Price reached double digits in strikeouts during a single game for the fourth time in his very short career. Price could be future face of this franchise.
Entering the 2010 season with their star player, Roy Halladay, shipped off to the Phillies, the Blue Jays needed a new star. With that in mind, Jose Bautista stepped to the plate.
And once Bautista started hitting for power, he did not stop. The 54 home runs he smashed led the majors. The next closest hitter, Albert Pujols, was a full 12 homers behind Bautista.
In 2011, Bautista has already racked up 10 home runs through his first 26 games. He had also established himself as the new leader of this Blue Jays team.
After a breakout rookie campaign where he batted .270 in 2009, Gordon Beckham suffered the dreaded sophomore slump in 2010.
But 2011 is a new year and Beckham has two full seasons under his belt to work with. At only 24, Beckham looks like he has time to reach his full potential and the White Sox are willing to wait him out right now.
He has started out streaky this year, but given some time, Beckham should bounce back.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is entering his fifth season with the Indians and he continues to impress. At 25, Cabrera is one of the future stars for the Indians.
After a breakout year in 2009, where Cabrera hit .308 with 68 RBI and 17 stolen bases, 2010 was a bit of a let-down.
But Cabrera has looked good so far this season and was leading all AL short stops with 22 RBI through the beginning of May. The Indians are going to hang on to this one.
Since his first full season with the Tigers in 2006, Justin Verlander has been a model of consistency. The righty collected at least 17 wins in four out of his last five years.
Verlander got off to a great start in 2011, pitching the second no-hitter of his career on May 7, 2011 against the Blue Jays. The first was on June 12, 2007 against the Brewers.
As a result, Verlander was named the American League Co-Player of the Week.
As the anchor in the Tigers rotation, Verlander is an asset that the team cannot afford to lose.
At the barely-ripe age of 21, Eric Hosmer is an intriguing prospect for the Royals. In the minors, Hosmer hit for average and began to show off his power as well.
Hosmer also had the best on-base percentage in the minors at .525. Not surprisingly, once he was called up this May, he drew two walks in his major league debut.
In his third game, Hosmer went 2-for-4 with an RBI. As he begins to settle into his new role in the bigs, the Royals hoping he puts up numbers similar to his minor league stats.
Young and talented, Hosmer is a guy the Royals will be banking on to lead them into the future.
In his ninth season with the Twins, Justin Morneau has become the face of the franchise. A former league MVP and four-time All-Star, Morneau is untouchable in Minnesota.
After hitting .345 in 2010, Morneau has suffered a rough start to 2011. A bout of the flu, which seems to be lingering, has held the slugger down so far.
But even proven veterans can have a bad month and Morneau’s track record certainly shows he will bounce back once he gets healthy.
In his first five years with the Angels, Jered Weaver has quietly gone about his business and delivered quality starts on a regular basis.
In 2011, he went an entire month before losing a game. By the end of April, he had five wins and a minuscule 1.14 ERA.
Weaver has proven to the Angels that he is the real deal. And that means the Angels will hold on to him as long as they can.
Starting his third year in the majors, Trevor Cahill is bringing the heat. With a record of 5-0 and a 1.79 ERA through his first seven starts, Cahill has proven that 2010 was not a fluke.
In the previous season, the young pitcher, currently 23 years old, posted an 18-8 record with a 2.97 ERA. The A's were hoping he could carry that performance in a new season and Cahill did not disappoint.
A ground-ball pitcher, Cahill has excellent control and unlimited potential. Cahill will be sticking around in Oakland for some time to come.
In his seventh season with the Mariners, Felix Hernandez has earned the nickname "King Felix." When he is on the mound, he is King of his domain.
When MLB reporter Peter Gammons asked about trading Hernandez, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong responded with, "It's ridiculous when people talk about our trading Felix. We have Felix and Pineda for five years. Why would we move either one?"
Through his first eight starts of 2011, Hernandez has a 4-2 record and 3.02 ERA. Why trade him? I cannot think of any good reason, and neither can the Mariners.
Though his journey to the major leagues was not a pretty one, Josh Hamilton is a success story. Conquering addiction has led him to three All-Star appearances, a league MVP award and countless other honors.
The honors are well deserved. Hamilton was hitting .333 with a .409 on-base percentage before landing on the DL with a fractured arm bone.
In his 2010 MVP season, Hamilton hit 32 homers, collected 100 RBI and had a .359 average to end the year. Once he is healthy, the Rangers expect more of the same from the slugger.
Jason Heyward's rookie season in 2010 was long-anticipated by Braves fans. And once he took the field, the wait was worth it.
Hitting .277 with 18 homers and 72 RBI in his rookie campaign, Heyward lived up to the hype.
And although Heyward is currently experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump, the Braves are confident he will hit his way out of the funk.
At only 21, Heyward has plenty of time to mature and make adjustments. The Braves are in it for the long haul with this slugger.
Mike Stanton played 100 games in his first major league season last year. In that span, he showed off his power, hitting 22 homers and collecting 59 RBI with a .507 slugging percentage.
This past spring, Stanton struggled in camp and in the first regular season game, he was pulled with a mild hamstring strain. The injury hampered the start of his season and as a result, he is a little behind.
But Stanton has still hit five home runs and has 14 RBI, despite the problems. The 21 year old should bounce back quickly and the Marlins are well aware of his potential.
Although lefty Johan Santana has not yet stepped foot on a mound in 2011, the Mets are willing to wait for him to heal after shoulder surgery last September.
A three-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner, Santana is the caliber of pitcher you stick with. He has a lifetime 3.10 ERA and record of 133-69.
The only reason the Twins traded him after almost eight years was because Santana was about to be a free agent. The Twins could not afford him and they wanted more than a few draft picks in return when he left.
Currently, Santana is doing well in his rehab and will probably return to the Mets sometime after the All-Star break. While he may not have a big impact this year, the Mets will be counting on him in the seasons to come.
The Phillies gave up a lot to get the two-time Cy Young award winner and they will not be letting him go anytime soon.
Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball. His 21 wins, 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 2010 earned him the second Cy Young honor. He has been an All-Star seven times in his career as well.
For the Phillies, this one is a no-brainer. Halladay is there to stay.
June 8, 2010 marked possibly the most anticipated rookie debut in baseball history. Phenom Stephen Strasburg was making headlines before he ever stepped onto a major league mound.
His debut was as impressive as anticipated. Strasburg mowed down 14 batters in seven innings where he allowed just two runs.
But that same August, Strasburg was sent to the DL with an elbow injury. In September, he had season-ending Tommy John surgery and is not expected back until very late in 2011or early 2012.
Still, this Nationals treasure will stay in D.C. while the franchise continues to build and work towards having a competitive team that Strasburg can lead.
The rookie season of shortstop Starlin Castro in 2010 was a sight to behold. Castro batted .300 with a .408 slugging percentage and 41 RBI.
And despite a recent dry patch, Castro has batted .306 with 13 RBI in his first 33 games of 2011.
Castro also has the distinction of being the first major league player born in the 1990's.
The Cubs should be set to plan the team's future around this young slugger.
As the reigning National League MVP, Joey Votto is the engine that makes this Reds team go. In 2010, Votto led the NL in runs scored and came in third in slugging percentage.
This past offseason, Votto signed a three-year, $38 million contract, keeping him with the Reds through the 2013 season. So far in 2011, he has hit .349 with five homers and 21 RBI in his first 36 games.
The MVP award and his first All-Star appearance in 2010 are sure to be just the first of many honors for Votto.
A home-grown product of the Astros, Hunter Pence has made himself a home in Houston. Currently in his fifth major league season with the Astros, Pence has become the face of the franchise.
In 2010, Pence set career highs in RBI's with 91, stolen bases with 18 and 93 runs scored. Still young at 28 years of age, Pence may not have reached his full potential yet.
This is good news for the Astros who hope Pence can lead them to a winning season.
Another home-grown player, Ryan Braun was drafted by the Brewers in 2005, fifth overall in the first round. He swung his way through the minors quickly and landed in the majors in 2007.
His .324 batting average, 97 RBI and .634 slugging percentage that year earned Braun the National League Rookie of the Year award.
Since his amazing debut, Braun has gone on win three Silver Slugger awards and three All-Star nods. A model of consistency who strikes fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, Braun is the Brewers biggest weapon.
This April, the Brewers showed their appreciation for Braun in the form of a five-year, $105 million extension that will keep him in Milwaukee through the 2020 season.
The Pirates have underachieved for what seems like decades now. But some new, young talent and a closer that is lights out, they may see the light yet.
Joel Hanrahan is a real bright spot in Pittsburgh. His performance in 2010 was good, but in 2011 so far, he has been dominant.
Earning 11 saves in his first 11 opportunities so far, Hanrahan has made himself indispensible.
In 2010, Matt Holliday signed a record-breaking contract in the city of St. Louis. The seven-year, $120 million deal marked the richest contract in team history.
With four Silver Slugger awards and four All-Star nods, Holliday was certainly worth the money. And with the prospect of possibly losing Albert Pujols after this season, Holliday could be the future leader of this club.
In his first 29 games of 2011, Holliday has a .589 slugging percentage and is batting .393, which leads the majors.
After a rocky start to his major league career with the Yankees, the future for Ian Kennedy was uncertain at best. He suffered through strange injuries, including bursitis and even an aneurysm under his right armpit.
But once he was traded to the Diamondbacks, things began to click for Kennedy. He ended 2010 with a respectable 3.80 ERA in 32 games and a 1.20 WHIP.
In 2011, Kennedy has continued to perform well. He leads the team’s starters with a 3.23 ERA through eight games and has shown the D-backs he can be a number one starter.
The future for Kennedy is no longer uncertain. His future is in Arizona.
Todd Helton’s relationship with the Rockies has lasted longer than many marriages. And in a similar fashion, it has not always been blissful.
Currently in his 15th year with the team, Helton has racked up four Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Gloves and five All-Star nods. The Rockies do not have much to complain about.
But 2010 looked like the year the wheels might fall of for Helton. He batted a career-low .256 with only 37 RBI and eight home runs.
But Helton seems to have found his second wind in 2011. Through his first 30 games, Helton is hitting.311 with a .476 slugging percentage. His current contract takes him through the 2013 season.
It looks like Helton will remain the face of the franchise and possibly become one of the few players to spend his entire career in one city.
Drafted by the Dodgers in 2006, young Clayton Kershaw has become the face of the Dodgers in just under three years in the majors.
Kershaw ended his 2010 season with 13 wins, a 2.91 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. At only 23 years of age, Kershaw should continue to improve steadily as he gains more experience.
Before the 2011 season, the Dodgers awarded a one-year, $500,000 contract, even though he is still under team control and not eligible for arbitration until 2012.
A move like that implies that the Dodgers want to keep Kershaw around for a long time.
25-year old Columbian relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri has not been in the big leagues for long. After pitching only two innings in 2009, Frieri got a bigger taste in 2010 with 31.2 innings, finishing the year with a 1.71 ERA.
Frieri started the 2011 season with the Padres and has been equally as impressive as last year. Through his first 20 innings of work, Frieri has a 1.35 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
The Padres are thrilled with Frieri’s performance and will hang on to this talented pitcher for some time to come.
Tim Lincecum has many nicknames, the most popular of which is “The Freak.” However, “The Franchise” may be more accurate.
For Lincecum and the Giants, the third time was the charm. Drafted by both the Cubs and Indians first, Lincecum finally signed with the Giants in 2006 after his third time getting drafted. And the Giants have stuck with him, despite his small stature and unusual delivery.
The move paid off. At only 26 years of age, Lincecum has already won two Cy Young awards and been elected an All-Star three times. He also has a World Championship to add to his resume.
Through his first eight starts of 2011, Lincecum has continued his dominance with a 2.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Lincecum will be the face of the Giants franchise for years to come.