1. Evan White
Yeah, the guy the Mariners signed to a 6-year contract before he ever played a single pitch in Major League Baseball is number 1. Kind of obvious right? The contract also includes 3 team options that maxed out the contract at 9-years, $55.5 million. Even if White is just an average, everyday player and posts a 2 fWAR every season, he will be worth, at minimum, twice that much to Seattle.
There simply is no reason to trade Evan White this summer or in the off-season unless you are getting a perennial All-Star with club control through at least 2024. Go ahead and find that guy and tell me why that guy’s team would trade him for Evan White? Take your time. While you ponder that, let’s just move on.
In what will be a shortened season (if we are lucky), there is very little we will learn about what kind of major leaguer White will be. If Seattle were to trade him this year, they could be selling epically low on him and to get what? A mid-rotation starter with a couple of years of club control? Yeah, that’s a hard pass.
As it stands right now, White is a safe bet to consistently post 2 WAR seasons thanks to his elite defense, plus speed and base-running, and a strong likelihood to at least be a big league average bat on top of his developing power.
There just isn’t a scenario short of a potential trade for a young, borderline superstar with multiple seasons of club control, in which trading White makes any sense for the Mariners. And let’s be honest, that opportunity isn’t coming anytime soon.
There you have it. The 5 Mariners who are the most “untouchable”. There are a few other names who we can argue about that didn’t make our list. And I think it is fair to substitute Sheffield and perhaps Kikuchi with any of the Justin Dunn, Kyle Lewis, Shed Long grouping. But at the end of the day, I would be shocked if any of the 5 names mentioned above were not on the Mariners Opening Day roster in 2021.