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Constructing a team of players who have been both Padres and Braves

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Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

This is the fourteenth in a series of 29 combined teams, although there are liable to be a couple more expansion teams by the time I get around to finishing them all. I begin by utilizing Baseball Reference's Multi-Team Finder, then whittle the list of shared players down to a 25-man roster. In the case of the Padres and Braves there have been 80 guys who have played for both teams. As usual I focused on the players' peaks and entire careers, not just how they performed with the teams in question.

Starting lineup

Pos Name Bats Yrs Slash line OPS+ bWAR
C David Ross R 14 .230/ .316/ .426 95 8.8
1B Fred McGriff L 19 .284/ .377/ .509 134 52.4
2B Bret Boone R 14 .266/ .325/ .442 101 22.6
SS Vinny Castilla R 16 .276/ .321/ .476 95 19.3
3B Graig Nettles L 22 .248/ .329/ .421 110 68.0
LF Justin Upton R 9
.273/ .353/ .473 121 24.2
CF Melvin Upton R 11 .243/ .323/ .399 97 13.5
RF Gary Sheffield R 22 .292/ .393/ .514 140 60.3

(all statistics via each player's Baseball Reference page)

There are a few somewhat weak spots up the middle but Ross, Castilla, and Melvin Upton truly are the best of the few available options at their positions. Castilla spent most of his career at third base but began his career at shortstop and played there long enough to qualify here. Upton actually put up some decent numbers for Tampa Bay before it all fell apart for him in Atlanta, and could be used in a platoon with lefty Mark Kotsay whose versatilty gives him a spot as a reserve. As much as I wanted to start Ken Caminiti at third base, Graig Nettles' numbers and longevity just wouldn't permit me. The San Diego-born Nettles, who also attended high school and college in America's Finest City, edged out the 1996 NL MVP by virtue of hitting comparably for much longer as well as being a stellar defender.

Bench

Pos Name Bats Yrs Slash line OPS+ bWAR
C Greg Myers L 18 .255/ .313/ .395 86 7.4
3B/2B/SS Jerry Royster R 16 .249/ .315/ .333 76 2.5
CF/RF/1B Mark Kotsay L 17 .276/ .332/ .404 96 21.5
OF/2B/3B Ron Gant R 16 .256/ .336/ .468 112 33.9
3B/1B Ken Caminiti S 15 .272/ .347/ .447 116 33.3

There were several players who were very difficult to leave off. The durable McGriff negated the need for Wally Joyner or Derrek Lee rotting on the bench, as several other players on the roster have first base experience when the Crime Dog takes a couple innings off. I tried and tried to find a way to include the underrated Reggie Sanders but Ron Gant and his slightly less impressive offensive numbers eked him out by virtue of Gant's early-career experience as an infielder.

Starting rotation

Name Arm Yrs GS/G W-L ERA FIP ERA+ bWAR
Greg Maddux R 23 740/744 355-227 (.610) 3.16 3.26 132 104.6
Gaylord Perry R 22 690/777 314-265 (.542) 3.11 3.06 117 93.7
John Montefusco R 13 244/298 90-83 (.520) 3.54 3.41 103 21.4
Pat Dobson R 11 279/414 122-129 (.486) 3.54 3.50 100 18.2
Joe Niekro R 22 500/702 221-204 (.520) 3.59 3.79 98 28.7

Andy Ashby and Aaron Harang were right on the cusp but ultimately Dobson and Niekro seemed slightly more qualified. I certainly wouldn't find fault in someone preferring either of the snubs over either of the back-of-the-rotation guys I chose. Harang undoubtedly gets bonus points from many Padres fans thanks to his time at San Diego State University, much in the way Niekro's days at West Virginia's own West Liberty State College swayed me ever so slightly.

Bullpen

Name Arm Yrs GS/G W-L ERA FIP ERA+ bWAR
Craig Kimbrel R 6 0/343 16-12 (.571) 1.61 1.67 236 13.2
Scott Linebrink R 12 6/607 42-31 (.575) 3.51 4.15 119 9.3
Elias Sosa R 12 3/601 59-51 (.536) 3.32 3.54 112 9.3
Danny Frisella R 10 17/351 34-40 (.459) 3.32 3.56 107 4.8
Rudy Seanez R 17 0/544 41-30 (.577) 4.10 3.98 106 3.4
Chris Hammond L 14 136/441 66-62 (.516) 4.14 4.07 100 9.1
Mark Davis L 15 85/624 51-84 (.378) 4.17 3.97 89 7.3

As much as I wanted to include Mark Grant, it just wasn't feasible. The reasoning behind carrying two lefties in the pen is that Hammond would serve as as a longman and spot starter thanks to his fairly neutral platoon splits. Davis, who was largely ineffective outside his Cy Young Award-winning season, did a better job of holding left-handed batters in check and would in turn be this team's lefty one-out guy.

That's my team. Who did I leave off who would make yours?