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

Starring four Hall of Famers and a few others who belong there

Goose Gossage throws the pitch Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With the return of Chase Headley (for the time being) via another trade with the Yankees, it seemed like a good time for the twentieth installment of my 29-part series in which I construct rosters consisting of guys who played for both the Padres and the team du jour. I use Baseball Reference's Multi-team Finder to bring up the talent pool I have to choose from, then whittle it down to a logical 25. In this case there have been 121 players, including 64 pitchers, so there was a lot of chaff to separate from the wheat. As always, I went by each player’s overall career and peak, not how they performed when they were with either or both teams.

More Combined Teams: Padres/Red Sox Padres/Rays Padres/Mariners Padres/Rangers Padres/Braves Padres/A's Padres/Mets Padres/Rockies Padres/White Sox Padres/Twins Padres/Royals Padres/Giants Padres/Indians Padres/Diamondbacks Padres/ Marlins Padres/ Brewers Padres/ Reds Padres/ Cubs Padres/ Tigers

Starting lineup:

Don Slaught

C — Don Slaught - Bats R, 104 OPS+, 19.4 bWAR/ 16 seasons

Never a star, Slaught was quietly solid for several years, most notably with the Pirates in the early ‘90s. He ended his career with 20 games for the 1997 Padres, during which he went 0-20, a franchise record for most at-bats by someone who never recorded a hit with the team.

Jack Clark readies for the pitch Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

1B — Jack Clark - R, 137, 52.8/ 18

Notable best for being a jerk to nearly everyone whose path he crossed, Jack Clark was far and away the top first baseman available, well ahead of another Clark, former San Diego State basketball player Tony Clark.

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

2B — Yangervis Solarte - S, 105, 7.1/ 4

Four years isn’t that long, but Solarte has done decently for himself in that time. And hey, he beats the alternatives.

Tony Fernandez

SS — Tony Fernandez - S, 101, 45.1/ 17

Just the other day I wrote about players with multiple stints with the Padres. Along those lines, Tony Fernandez played for the Blue Jays on four separated occurrences (1983-’90, 1993, 1998-’99, and 2001).

Graig Nettles

3B — Graig Nettles - L, 110, 68.0/ 22

It’s absurd that not only is Graig Nettles not in the Hall of Fame, but that he never received much support at all, maxing out at 8.3% in his first year of eligibility, and his name never pops up on the ballot for whatever they’re calling the veterans’ committee now.

Gary Sheffield

LF — Gary Sheffield - R, 140, 60.3/ 22

Better known for playing right field, Sheff played about three seasons worth of games in left field — more time than he spent at third base — so he moves across the outfield to accommodate Dave Winfield.

MLB: All Star Game-Legends and Celebrity Softball Game Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

CF — Rickey Henderson - R, 127, 110.8/ 25

Similarly, Rickey spent about three seasons worth of games in center field rather than his usual spot of left, and slides over here in order to get both Sheffield and Winfield in the lineup.

Florida Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images

RF — Dave Winfield - R, 130, 63.8/ 22

That’s quite the lineup. Not always do these feature a pair of Hall of Famers and a couple more who played near or at that level. Spoiler alert: The pitching staff is the same way.


Jim Leyritz #13

C/CIF/COF — Jim Leyritz - Bats R, 106 OPS+, 8.0 bWAR/ 11 seasons

Padres v Rockies X

IF — D’Angelo Jimenez - S, 94, 8.1/ 8

Cincinnati Reds v San Diego Padres Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

IF — Mark Bellhorn - S, 92, 8.0/ 10

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

OF — Oscar Gamble - L, 127, 23.0/ 17

OF — Ruppert Jones - L, 106, 22.5/ 12

It was tough leaving off Headley (S, 107, 26.8/ 11), but there was no spot on the bench for someone who just plays third base and, to a much lesser extent, left field and first base. Leyritz, Jimenez, and Bellhorn all provide versatility; Gamble would serve as the go-to pinch hitter and fill in at the outfield corners, and two-time All-Star Jones can cover all three spots, but spent most of his time in center.

Starting rotation:

Gaylord Perry Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Gaylord Perry - Throws R, 117 ERA+, 91.0 bWAR/ 22 seasons

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown - R, 127, 68.3/ 19

Cardinals v Padres Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

David Wells - L, 108, 53.6/ 21

Bob Tewksbury

Bob Tewksbury - R, 104, 21.2/ 13

John Montefusco - R, 103, 20.0/ 13

The first three were absolute no-doubters, while Tewksbury and Montefusco were the best of the next tier, eking out another full rotation’s worth of solid starters.


Rich Gossage poses for a portrait Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Goose Gossage - Throws R, 126 ERA+, 42.0 bWAR/ 22 seasons

Atlanta Braves v San Diego Padres Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Matt Thornton - L, 129, 14.0/ 13

Pitcher Jesse Orosco portrait

Jesse Orosco - L, 126, 23.9/ 24

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Paul Quantrill - R, 118, 18.1/ 14

Lance McCullers

Lance McCullers - R, 116, 5.5/ 7

Padres Media Day Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Antonio Osuna - R, 112, 6.3/ 11

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Chad Qualls - R, 109, 6.5/ 14

Gossage would of course hold down the closer job, and he’d almost certainly put up much better numbers if he only had to pitch one inning at a time rather than the two or more that he always likes to brag about. Thornton and Orosco have each excelled as both lefty specialists and in lengthier spots, and the presence of the other would keep them both fresh. The fathers of Astros starter Lance McCullers, Jr. and Padres prospect Cal Quantrill were both sneaky-good during their unheralded careers, as were Osuna and the still-ticking Qualls.

Organizational depth:

C — Jerry Moses, John Flaherty, Bob Geren, Wil Nieves, Chris Stewart, Brian Dorsett

1B — Tony Clark

IF — Horace Clarke, Alex Arias, Jerry Royster, Juan Bonilla, Cody Ransom, Alberto Gonzalez, Chris Nelson, Tucker Ashford, Barry Evans, Fernando Gonzalez, Edwin Rodriguez

3B — Chase Headley, Mike Pagliarulo, Morgan Ensberg

OF — Matty Alou, Rondell White, Terrence Long, Bobby Brown, Ruben Rivera, Jerry Mumphrey, Bubba Trammell, Stan Jefferson, Darren Bragg, Fred “Chicken” Stanley, Oscar Azocar, Jay Johnstone, Freddy Guzman, Joe Lefebvre, Gene Locklear,

OF/1B — Dave Kingman, Curt Blefary, Xavier Nady, John Vander Wal, Mike Aldrete

OF/2B — Jose Pirela, Jerry Hairston

SP — Pat Dobson, Ed Whitson, Joe Niekro, Ian Kennedy, Chan Ho Park, Sterling Hitchcock, Jim Deshaies, Tim Lollar, Dennis Rasmussen, Andy Hawkins, Wally Whitehurst, Brett Tomko, Ricky Bones, Dustin Moseley, Darrell May, Wade LeBlanc, Jaret Wright, Ross Ohlendorf, Walt Terrell, Dave Eiland, Dave LaPoint, Jimmy Jones, Don Schulze

RP — Tommy Layne, Dan Miceli, Shawn Kelley, Ron Villone, Alan Embree, Chris Hammond, Kirby Yates, Buddy Carlyle, Greg Harris, Brian Boehringer, Royce Ring, Jay Witasick, Tim Stoddard, Chad Gaudin, Carlos Almanzar, Brett Jodie, Sean Henn, Mike Armstrong, Todd Erdos, Tim Redding, Jim Bruske, Scott Patterson, Pat Clement, Rick Sawyer, Mike Griffin, Dave Wehrmeister, Jim Brower, Randy Keisler