Each team's jersey number likely to be retired next

August 13th, 2018

Over the weekend, the Giants retired the No. 25 worn by Barry Bonds and the Tigers retired Jack Morris' No. 47. Bonds became the 12th Giant and Morris the seventh Tiger so honored (along with Jackie Robinson's No. 42 for both teams, of course). Bonds played for the Giants for 15 seasons and Morris pitched for the Tigers for 14 years and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame: It was a no-brainer for the Tigers once he was in.

This whole exercise got us thinking: Which active players might end up with their own jerseys retired? Who potentially has that immortality in their future? Thus, this week at The Thirty, in honor of Bonds and Morris, we take a look at the most likely active player to someday have their number retired for every team. Note the wording there, by the way: The player has to be active, but he does not have to be actively playing for the team that will retire his number at this specific moment.

Now, some of these teams have a rule that they won't retire anyone's number who wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame. In this case, if there is no obvious Hall of Fame candidate, when necessary, we'll pick the player most likely to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. But the general principle remains: Who's the active player most likely to go down in history for each specific franchise? Here's our list.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST



Blue Jays

19:


This is probably the last year for Bautista, who is peddling his wares for the Mets, his second team this season. This jersey retirement probably won't end up happening, so they may just have to do a statue of his bat flip.

Orioles

10:


Jones may be traded in August, but he'll be forever an Oriole. He's Captain America for crying out loud.



Rays

3:


He's the best player in franchise history by a wide, wide margin.



Red Sox

15:


Pedroia is already one of the franchise's 10 best players by WAR (per Baseball Reference) in history, and if he ever gets healthy again, he'll pass David Ortiz (whose No. 34 is already retired) in a matter of weeks. Also, those two World Series championships don't hurt.





Yankees

99:


It's obviously early, but it's not like anyone else is clamoring for the number.

AL CENTRAL



Indians

12:


This is a tough call: (28) is right there, too, but Lindor could be here for decades to come as a franchise icon.

Royals

13:


Anybody else get the feeling that come 2028 we're going to be having the same Hall of Fame arguments about Perez that we're having about right now?

Tigers

24:


Cabrera will end up having been a Tiger for 16 years by the time his contract is over … and heck, maybe even longer.

Twins

7: Joe Mauer


Remember, Kent Hrbek has a statue outside Target Field. If he has a statue, they should probably just name the stadium after Mauer.

White Sox

49: Chris Sale


Probably pushing it here, but if he ends up spending longer than seven years -- the amount of time he spent with the White Sox -- with any other team, we'll be surprised.

AL WEST



Angels

27:


Sorry, Vlad.

Astros

27:


The jersey might be retired before the player is.

Athletics

26:


Without question the toughest call on the board, but we'll just imagine a theoretical future where he turns into Brooks Robinson and plays with the A's for the next 15 years.



Mariners

51:


He's not technically retired yet, remember.

Rangers

29:


If only he could have won one of those World Series…

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST



Braves

5: Freddie Freeman


He's still only 28 years old. The guy the Braves didn't trade years ago may end up being an Atlanta lifer … and perhaps someday a champion.

Marlins

27:


He's the Marlins' all-time leader in bWAR, by a significant margin. But by the time he retires, will anyone remember he ever played here?

Mets

5:


Oh, what could have been.



Nationals

31: Max Scherzer


He's under contract with the Nationals through 2021, which gives him a lot of time to win some more Cy Young Awards.

Phillies

26:


We've got five years to debate his Hall of Fame case. OK, probably 10, at least.

NL CENTRAL



Brewers

8:


Is this crazy? This is probably crazy. But we might feel a lot differently about Braun's offense in 20 years than we do now.



Cardinals

5:


Molina might end up having his jersey retired as well, but the Cardinals haven't given out No. 5 since Pujols left and surely won't ever again.

Cubs

17:


Incredibly tough call between Bryant and here, but we'll go with the guy with the MVP Award and maybe some more coming.

Pirates

22:


Still pretty strange that his old team has a better record than his new one does.

Reds

19: Joey Votto


At this point, Votto will probably retire a Red, and maybe as the best Red since the Big Red Machine.

NL WEST



D-backs

44:


Goldschmidt might have gotten started too late in his career to have much of a shot at the Hall of Fame, but he'll be beloved in Phoenix forever.

Dodgers

22:


We'll see what happens this offseason, but 11 years of brilliance so far is plenty.

Giants

28:


Barely edging out , if just because Posey is less likely to ever play anywhere else.

Padres

23:


Heck, why not?

Rockies

28:


The question, as with many Rockies: How long will he remain a Rockie?