The rosters of baseball teams are constantly shifting: It can be difficult for even the most devoted fan to keep track. We orient ourselves through our longtimers, the guys who have been with our teams the longest.
The days of Stan Musial and Ted Williams (and Derek Jeter) are mostly over: It's difficult to find that many players who stick with one team their whole careers. But there are still your Yadier Molinas and your Joey Vottos, the players who will be associated with their team, and only their team, forever.
This week, we look at the longest-tenured players on every Major League Baseball team.
A couple of things to note:
1. A player has to have been with only that organization. If he was traded and has stuck with his new team, he doesn't count.
2. We are going back to the date the player signed as an amateur, not when he made the Majors.
These are the old-timers ... and as you'll see, some of these old-timers are anything but old.
American League East
Baltimore Orioles: Caleb Joseph
Signed: June 10, 2008
MLB debut: May 7, 2014
Leave it to the Orioles to have their backup catcher be the guy who has been solely with the organization the longest. The longest-tenured Orioles who came from another organization are of course Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, famously traded for Erik Bedard in February 2008.
Video: DET@BAL: Joseph nabs Reyes going back to third
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Signed: July 21, 2004
MLB debut: Aug. 22, 2006
Pedroia is currently on the disabled list, but this is the one guy who can say he was in the Red Sox organization back when people still chanted "1918." He was drafted in the second round back in 2004.
Video: Must C Carom: Pedroia's remarkable play off bounce
New York Yankees: Brett Gardner
Signed: June 12, 2005
MLB debut: June 30, 2008
It is sort of remarkable that Gardner has survived so many different Yankees permutations; he has actually played more games for the Yankees than Dave Winfield, Tino Martinez or Lou Piniella. (He'll pass Bobby Mercer and Paul O'Neill next week.) Drafted in 2005, he has Dellin Betances beat by only one year.
Video: NYY@TOR: Gardner skies a solo homer to right field
Tampa Bay Rays: Alex Colome
Signed: March 20, 2007
MLB debut: May 30, 2013
Signed as an 18-year-old free agent out of the Dominican, Colome took over Evan Longoria's duty as the most senior Rays player.
Toronto Blue Jays: Carlos Ramirez
Signed: March 5, 2009
MLB debut: Sept. 1, 2017
So here's an amazing one. The Blue Jays signed Ramirez as an outfielder out of the Dominican in March 2009, two months before they drafted Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera. He struggled for four seasons, they converted him to a pitcher and now he's a flamethrowing reliever. Which means Ramirez is both the longest-tenured Blue Jay ... and No. 17 on the MLB Pipeline ranking of Blue Jays prospects. That's persistence.
Video: TOR@BAL: Ramirez notches his first big league K
Chicago White Sox: Nate Jones
Signed: June 13, 2007
MLB debut: April 8, 2012
The rare lifelong one-team middle reliever, Jones is the only White Sox player who has been with the organization for the whole last decade.
Cleveland Indians: Josh Tomlin
Signed: June 9, 2006
MLB debut: July 27, 2010
Drafted in the 19th round in 2006 -- the year Longoria, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum were drafted -- Tomlin has just kept hanging around through injuries, organizational turnover and an influx of rotation talent trying to take his job. His slow start to 2018 has put him in a perilous situation.
Video: CHC@CLE: Tomlin K's Baez to start off the 3rd inning
Detroit Tigers: Dixon Machado
Signed: July 2, 2008
MLB debut: May 25, 2015
International players often have an advantage when it comes to longevity, since they are often signed so young. (It's not much of an advantage in many other ways.) So it's Machado who is the longest-tenured Tiger who has only been a Tiger, signed seven months after the team traded for Miguel Cabrera.
Kansas City Royals: Alex Gordon
Signed: Sept. 29, 2005
MLB debut: April 2, 2007
On a team that values its longtimers -- three members of the Royals' lineup have been with the organization since at least 2007 -- Gordon stands out, as he was drafted second overall back in 2005. (Justin Upton went first.)
Video: KC@BOS: Gordon belts game-tying HR in the 9th
Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer
Signed: July 17, 2001
MLB debut: April 5, 2004
This was an easy one. Mauer has played more games for the Twins than Kent Hrbek did.
Houston Astros: Jose Altuve
Signed: March 6, 2007
MLB debut: July 20, 2011
Altuve was only 16 when the Astros signed him out of Venezuela; his father had to bring his birth certificate to prove he was old enough to even try out at an Astros camp. He didn't get much taller, but, uh, fair to say he proved he belonged.
Video: HOU@OAK: Altuve catches up with his scout, Pedrique
Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout
Signed: July 2, 2009
MLB debut: July 8, 2011
If the Angels hadn't wanted David Freese so badly back in 2013, this might have been Randal Grichuk ... by about 10 minutes.
Video: Trout becomes fastest to 10 homers in Angels history
Oakland Athletics: Matt Olson
Signed: June 19, 2012
MLB debut: Sept. 12, 2016
You know your organization has a ton of turnover when your longest-tenured player just turned 24. (Triple-A catcher Beau Taylor actually has Olson beat; he was drafted a year before him but has still never reached The Show.)
Video: OAK@LAA: Olson belts a solo home run to right field
Seattle Mariners: Felix Hernandez
Signed: July 4, 2002
MLB debut: Aug. 4, 2005
King Felix was signed out of Venezuela nine months after the Mariners' most recent postseason, so maybe Felix is the problem.
Video: LAA@SEA: Hernandez catches Trout looking in the 5th
Texas Rangers: Martin Perez
Signed: July 2, 2007
MLB debut: June 27, 2012
He's on the disabled list now, but the Rangers signed Perez out of the Dominican in July 2007, the same month they traded for Elvis Andrus. The longest-tenured Ranger on the current roster is Jurickson Profar. Life happens fast.
National League East
Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman
Signed: June 10, 2007
MLB debut: Sept. 1, 2010
Freeman has turned into the star the Braves hoped for when they drafted him back in 2007, even if he took a circuitous route to get there.
Video: ATL@PHI: Freeman smacks an RBI triple to right field
Miami Marlins: Jose Urena
Signed: Aug. 29, 2008
MLB debut: April 14, 2015
Fair to say, Urena has seen a lot of change in his 10 years in the Marlins organization.
New York Mets: David Wright
Signed: July 12, 2001
MLB debut: July 21, 2004
Wright is still on the Mets' payroll, even if he hasn't played since May 27, 2016, so he has to count. The longest-tenured player not named Wright on the Mets is Juan Lagares, signed out of the Dominican in May 2006.
Video: STL@NYM: Wright gets warm welcome from New York crowd
Philadelphia Phillies: Cesar Hernandez
Signed: July 2, 2006
MLB debut: May 29, 2013
Hernandez has finally found his stroke in this last three seasons and is now ensconced in the leadoff spot for the Phillies. They signed him out of Venezuela when Jamie Moyer was still only 43 years old.
Video: CIN@PHI: Hernandez crushes a solo homer to right
Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman
Signed: June 18, 2005
MLB debut: Sept. 1, 2005
If he plays one more year with the Nationals -- and he's signed through next year so there's no reason to think he won't -- Zimmerman will pass Tim Wallach for the most games played as an Expo/National.
Video: PIT@WSH: Zimmerman belts a solo homer in the 6th
Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras
Signed: July 2, 2009
MLB debut: June 17, 2016
Bet you didn't see this one coming. There are only two Cubs currently on the roster who were with the organization before Theo Epstein came over from Boston: Contreras and Javier Baez.
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto
Signed: June 5, 2002
MLB debut: Sept. 4, 2007
The correct answer to any question about the Cincinnati Reds is always Votto. (They drafted him in 2002.)
Video: Votto hits a home run in four consecutive games
Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun
Signed: June 18, 2005
MLB debut: May 25, 2007
It hasn't always gone as smoothly for Braun and the Brewers as everyone might have hoped, but he is still there and still raking.
Video: MIA@MIL: Braun collects 1,000 RBIs on three-run smash
Pittsburgh Pirates: Starling Marte
Signed: Jan. 4, 2007
MLB debut: July 26, 2012
Speaking of things not always going smoothly. Marte took over for Andrew McCutchen as the senior Pirate and he's potentially signed through 2021.
St. Louis Cardinals: Yadier Molina
Signed: June 5, 2000
MLB debut: June 3, 2004
Currently on the DL, Molina will pass Red Schoendienst for all-time games played by a Cardinal at some point this year and should pass Ozzie Smith by the end of next season. He was actually drafted the same year as longtime batterymate Adam Wainwright. (Second place for the Cardinals is Tommy Pham.)
Video: CWS@STL: Molina laces a walk-off single to left field
Arizonna D-backs: A.J. Pollock
Signed: June 23, 2009
MLB debut: April 18, 2012
Pollock was drafted the same year as Paul Goldschmidt, but three rounds earlier. Also picked in that 2009 first round: Teammate Chris Owings.
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
Signed: June 8, 2008
MLB debut: June 7, 2011
Drafted in 2008 and now signed through '23, Blackmon is primed to stand with Todd Helton as lifelong Rockies.
Video: COL@NYM: Blackmon launches a solo homer to right
Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen
Signed: Nov. 17, 2004
MLB debut: July 24, 2010
Not who you thought, right? The Dodgers signed Jansen out of Curacao a year and a half before they drafted Clayton Kershaw.
Video: LAD@ARI: Jansen induces a popup, picks up the save
San Diego Padres: Austin Hedges
Signed: Aug. 15, 2011
MLB debut: May 4, 2015
Currently on the DL, Hedges has 23-year-old Franchy Cordero beat by six months.
San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner
Signed: Aug. 14, 2007
MLB debut: Sept. 8, 2009
The fractured pinkie has him on the mend, but unlike just about everybody else on his team, Bumgarner's still younger than 30 years old.
Video: SF@ARI: Bumgarner K's seven over seven solid innings
Hat tip to Roster Resource for research help on this.
Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.