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The longest-tenured 'lifer' for every MLB club in a post-Utley trade world

Looking at each team's current lifer is both sad and awesome. Lots of takeaways.

Now that Troy Tulowitzki is no longer with the Rockies and Chase Utley has been traded from the Phillies after thirteen seasons, does it seem like so-called lifers are dropping left and right? Which players have the longest tenure with the teams for whom they first played?

Enterprising reddit user thedeejus did the legwork and the results are fascinating:

Team Since Player(s)
MIN 2004 Joe Mauer
NYM 2004 David Wright
PHI 2004 Ryan Howard
STL 2004 Yadier Molina
DET 2005 Justin Verlander
SEA 2005 Felix Hernandez
SFG 2005 Matt Cain
WSN 2005 Ryan Zimmerman
LAA 2006 Erick Aybar, Jered Weaver
BOS 2006 Dustin Pedroia
LAD 2006 Andre Ethier
CIN 2007 Joey Votto, Homer Bailey
KCR 2007 Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar
CHW 2007 John Danks
MIL 2007 Ryan Braun
NYY 2008 Brett Gardner
TBR 2008 Evan Longoria
TEX 2009 Elvis Andrus, Derek Holland
CLE 2009 Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco
PIT 2009 Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker
BAL 2009 Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman
TOR 2009 Brett Cecil
CHC 2010 Starlin Castro, Brian Schlitter
ATL 2010 Freddie Freeman
HOU 2010 Jason Castro
MIA 2010 Giancarlo Stanton
OAK 2010 Eric Sogard
COL 2011 Wilin Rosario, Charlie Blackmon, Rex Brothers
ARI 2011 Paul Goldschmidt, Josh Collmenter
SDP 2012 Nick Vincent

Edit: Comes to my attention that several of these players were not drafted by the team but still played with them first.  Edited the above intro paragraph to reflect this distinction. Apologies for MY confusion. -jbopp


  • 100% turnover for the Rockies, D-backs, and Padres since 2011 feels significant and rather telling. Each is a team in search of an identity.
  • Castro and Schlitter for the Cubs has to hurt a little bit, considering how many of those otherwise lovely fans give Castro a hard time.
  • Tigers, Mariners, Giants. Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Matt Cain. This only makes me feel awful for M's fans.
  • The 2009 bunch -- Rangers, Indians, Pirates, Orioles -- are all kind of interesting in how their cores are aging and how each club had success over the years.
  • David Wright, everyone! Assuming he's with the team in the playoffs, how good of a story is that? Will be his first appearance (and the club's) since 2006.
  • Of the names on this list, the ones I expect to actually retire with their team: Mauer, Wright, Howard, Molina, Gordon, McCutchen.
  • The Reds. :: sigh ::

What are your observations?