San Diego Padres: Is this prospect really untouchable in trade talks?

San Diego Padres prospect Ethan Salas
San Diego Padres prospect Ethan Salas / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

San Diego Padres fans have gotten used to prospects being traded off in exchange for established players who can (in theory) help the team win now. When the Padres recently visited the Washington Nationals, facing former Padres prospects MacKenzie Gore and CJ Abrams (dealt out east in the Juan Soto/Josh Bell trade) was a reminder of the cost of doing business in the present and not the future.

With the Padres farm system ranked 23rd out of MLB's 30 teams heading into the season and San Diego likely needing to do something at the upcoming MLB trade deadline to shore up the roster, it's worth asking exactly which prospects might be available to trade to help San Diego win this season.

San Diego Padres prospects: Is Ethan Salas on the "no trade" list?

One of those prospects in San Diego's depleted farm system is 17-year-old Ethan Salas, considered by many to be one of the cornerstones of the future for the Padres. After skipping rookie ball, in his first 15 at-bats for Class-A Lake Elsinore, Salas is slashing .333/.545/.400 and has walked (seven times) more than he has struck out (five times).

Yes, a 17-year-old is already showing plenty of promise, and that prospect was wanted by the Padres, as shown by the $5.6 million signing bonus that was part of his contract.

But there's a saying that prospects are cool and parades are cooler, meaning winning now is often valued more by teams than the potential wins that may come in the future with prospects. However, Padres fans have shown that perhaps they're tired of the prospect swap that has still not produced a trip to the World Series.

When we recently asked Padres Twitter if Salas was indeed untouchable in any trade talks, the vast majority of those answering our poll said yes.

It seems unlikely that the Padres would move Salas, but it's still worth asking if he's truly untouchable if he would be used as a trade chip for one of the game's elite players, such as Shohei Ohtani. Someone of that caliber might test just how much A.J. Preller and the Padres think of the future of Salas in brown and gold.

We expect Salas to stay with the Padres and evenutally make his MLB debut with the club. However, we're also going to be keeping a close eye on the upcoming MLB trade deadline to see just how untouchable Salas and the rest of the Padres high-ranking prospects might really be.