With the MLB General Manager meetings starting this weekend in Nashville, TN, there is a strong buzz encapsulating the baseball world. Who's getting traded? Where are top free agents signing? Who is getting a Babe Ruth talent in Shohei Ohtani? For fans, this is prime time to concoct trades involving the team's prospect or young talent for high-end talent, as evident in trade proposals involving some of Seattle's young starting pitchers, Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo for Juan Soto.
A player that would net the Seattle Mariners a top-flight player is Harry Ford. Ranked as the #2 prospect in the Seattle farm system, per MLB.com, Harry Ford is a high-leverage piece in any trade construction and conversation. The second-ranked prospect in the Mariners system needs to be the most untouchable prospect in the system though.
The Mariners lack top-shelf catching prospects, and the fact Ford has been able to stick behind the dish since being drafted in 2021, provides immense value to the organization. Outside of the lack of catching depth in the organization, Harry Ford has proved himself on the world stage, not just in the minors. The Mariners need Harry Ford more than fans realize.
Cal Raleigh, religiously known as "Big Dumper" in the Pacific Northwest, is a key cog in the Mariners current roster construction. Hitting a massive homerun to end the Mariners 21 year playoff drought will always cement his place in Seattle history, however, Cal Raleigh is going to be a free agent in 2028 in his age 31 season.
The catching position is physically taxing, not only to mention the amount of time needed to dedicate to the craft on the defensive side of the ball, building rapport with a pitching staff, along with keeping up with things in the batter's box... oh, and to mention Cal is a switch-hitter. Cal is a unicorn among catchers as he provides solid defense and offense from the position. Once free agency hits, "Big Dumper" is going to be hard to retain. This laminates the point that Harry Ford is the Mariners most "untouchable" prospect.
Yordan Alvarez, the Cuban-born Astro slugger, imposes fear to any pitcher facing him. Minus Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge, Alvarez potentially could have two MVP awards under his belt. The Mariners have their own Cuban-born slugger by the name of Lazaro Montes waiting in the wings.
On looks alone, Lazaro Montes is easy to compare to Yordan Alvarez. Big, tall, powerful, and an imposing figure in the batter's box. Montes, so far has impressive numbers in the minors, coming in as the Mariners #11 prospect, Trevor Pedro has a great write-up on him. From the early looks of it, the Mariners have Yordan Alvarez in the making down in the minors. This type of player has a huge impact to any lineup. The Mariners need to avoid the burglary the Astros committed on the Dodgers.
Luckily the Mariners avoided a complete disaster in the DH spot by having Hall of Fame enshrined Edgar Martinez man the position when they traded away David Ortiz. The Mariners would be best to keep Lazaro Montes as his characteristics point in the David Ortiz/Yordan Alvarez realm. The Mariners cannot afford to miscalculate on Montes as they did with David Ortiz. Montes potentially provides a powerful force in the middle of future Mariner lineups, pairing with Julio Rodriguez and hopefully another star named Harry Ford.