Every year, one of my favorite parts of the Hot Stove season is watching the reports roll out on various "untouchable" players. Whether these are reports from industry sources, or even the GMs themselves, it's always entertaining to hear about how highly a team values one of their own players, especially when that kind of reasoning is patently ridiculous.
In 2011, the Cubs' general manager at the time, Jim Hendry, famously said that Jeff Baker was untouchable. Uh-uh. You can't have him. I imagine conversations with Hendry went something like this: "So what you're saying is, even if we offered Mike Trout AND Jered Weaver, you still won't trade Jeff to us. Okay, fine."
(For what it is worth, Jeff Baker is currently an unsigned free agent, and has produced a line of .266/.316/.428 over his career. Jim Hendry is currently a special assistant to Brian Cashman, GM of a team without a third baseman. Expect Baker to be starting for the Yankees on Opening Day.)
Anyways, here are some of my favorites from this year, so far … starting with the most recent impetus for this article. Footnotes at the bottom.
- Bobby Parnell ("virtually untouchable") *
- Billy Butler ("close to untouchable")
- Alcides Escobar AND Salvador Perez ("the only untouchable Royals") **
- Will Middlebrooks ("consider[ed] to be untouchable")
- Dylan Bundy ("likely more untouchable than any other prospect in baseball")
- Danny Hultzen AND Taijuan Walker ("likely untouchable") ***
- Mystery Phillies ("there are a few untouchables in the organization")
- Andrelton Simmons ("I don't think anyone is untouchable, but I think he would be…") ****
- Not Chris Tillman ("I wouldn't consider Tillman to be untouchable")
Please do us all a favor and report on any untouchables that might appear in your Twitter feeds or in any reports you read.
* – I understand this to mean that he is currently trapped inside of the film Tron.
** – This is fun, considering Billy Butler, above, is also a Royal.
*** – Walker is also "virtually untouchable" which I think means he is riding light cycles with Parnell in Cyber-Venezuela or something.
**** – This is an actual quote from Frank Wren, and it makes me giggle.