If you haven't taken the quiz about every player who has seen action with both the Padres and Dodgers, and would like to, you should probably do that before reading this, since this whole post is one big spoiler.
One running theme I've been
beating into the ground doing for awhile is making combined teams out of guys who played for both the Padres and any other given team, using Baseball Reference's multi-franchise finder tool to bring up the pool of players to choose from. With the Padres and the Dodgers in the news for the trade which sends Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz to San Diego, and Joe Wieland, Yasmani Grandal, and Zach Eflin to Los Angeles, now seemed like a perfect time to take a look at the other players they've shared. 95 players have suited up for both teams, and I had to eliminate some extremely good ones in paring the roster down to 25.
C- Mike Piazza
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Mark Loretta
SS- Enzo Hernandez
3B- Gary Sheffield
LF- Rickey Henderson
CF- Steve Finley
RF- Matt Kemp
Originally I automatically penciled Steve Garvey in at first because, you know, #re6pect, but it's a much better team on both sides of the ball with Adrian at first. Fred McGriff also had a hand in making this a tough decision. Most of the other positions had a clear-cut starter; it did pain me to include Enzo Hernandez among that list of big names and big bats, but he was the only player in the pool who spent most of his career as a shortstop. I was tempted to jettison Enzo entirely, start Garvey at third base since he began his career there, and slide Sheffield over to shortstop since he started his career there, but that seemed to violate the spirit of the rules I made up as I went along. Starting Sheffield at third base was already pushing it a bit, since he played 1,160 games in right field and 487 games in left field compared to 468 games at third, but he did spend three full seasons at the hot corner, so Judge Mills Lane says "I'll allow it!" Also, Sheffield was just about as much of a defensive liability in the outfield as he was at third, and this makes room for (barring any unforeseen circumstances) the newest member of the combined team.
C- Brad Ausmus
1B/3B- Steve Garvey
2B/SS- Jody Reed
IF/OF- Derrel Thomas
OF- Willie Davis
This bench would be Bud Black's dream. Garvey's right-handed bat and ability to play third base, along with the fact there is no way I was going to leave him off the roster, edges out McGriff. Jody Reed got the nod over Eric Young since his secondary position of shortstop is more helpful to this particular team than Young's ability to play left field. Derrel Thomas went to work at every position except pitcher in his 15-year career, playing seven positions in two seasons and six positions in six others. The criminally underrated Willie Davis, who would start on most combined teams, would provide all five tools at a moment's notice.
Not only were all five starting pitchers terrifyingly good both in their primes and over time, you could make a decent rotation out of the guys that didn't make the cut for this one.
This is by no means a big-name bullpen, with no marquee closer to be seen, but all of its members had long, productive careers with at least one remarkable season as well. Romo is considered by some to be the greatest starter in Mexican League history, but he spent most of his time in the states coming out of the 'pen, so he makes it as the long-man and spot starter. With 83 saves, Sosa had the most out of the bunch, so he becomes the default closer.
C- Sandy Alomar, Jr., Jim Leyritz, Chris Cannizzaro, Carlos Hernandez, Ramon Hernandez, Henry Blanco, Brian Johnson, David Ross, Miguel Olivo, Rick Wilkins, Gary Bennett
1B- Fred McGriff, Mark Sweeney, Eddie Williams
IF- Eric Young, Dave Hansen, Jerry Royster, Orlando Hudson, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Craig Shipley, Tommy Dean, Oscar Robles, Wilson Valdez, Adam Riggs
OF- Shane Victorino, Tony Gwynn, Jr., Chris Gwynn, Milton Bradley, Dave Roberts, Jose Cruz, Jr., Al Ferrara, Von Joshua, Bobby Valentine, Ron Roenicke, Jay Johnstone, Brady Clark, Billy Bean, Leron Lee, Mike Baxter, Hiram Bocachica, Thomas Howard, Trenidad Hubbard, Brian Myrow
SP- Andy Ashby, Aaron Harang, Jon Garland, Randy Wolf, Edinson Volquez, Kevin Correia, Chan Ho Park, Ismael Valdez, Eric Stults, Pedro Astacio, Fred Norman, Brett Tomko, Alan Foster
RP- Mike Maddux, Rudy Seanez, Duaner Sanchez, Doug Bochtler, Al Osuna, Buddy Carlyle, Dennys Reyes, Bill Krueger, Bryan Corey, Rodney Myers, Al McBean, Jim Bruske, Jose Nunez, Brian Falkenborg, Charlie Haeger
That "AAA" team is better than most of the first-string 25-man combined rosters I've put together, and some of the "AA" guys aren't that bad, either. Who would you call up to your team, and which of the guys I picked would you demote?