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

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This is the nineteenth installment of a series of what will likely become a series of 31 posts, since they'll probably add two expansion teams by the time I finish it up. Realistically, it should "only" take me two more years since the first post was nearly four years ago, and I'm about two-thirds of the way through. The premise of what I do is a simple one: I use Baseball Reference's Multi-team Finder to generate a list of guys who have played for both the Padres and whatever team they happen to be going up against that day. Today, for the first time in a while, that team is the Tigers.

There have been 107 players - 46 of whom are pitchers - who have suited up for both San Diego and Detroit. Most choices for the starting lineup and rotation were obvious, but there were some tough cuts from the bench and bullpen. I judge players based on their career as a whole and by their peak, regardless of where that happened, not how they performed for the teams in question.

Starting lineup:

Pos. Name Bats Yrs. OPS+ bWAR
C Brad Ausmus R 18 75 6.4
1B Nate Colbert R 10 119 14.3
2B Bip Roberts S 12 100 20.4
SS Erick Aybar S 12 90 23.5
3B Phil Nevin R 12 114 15.8
LF Justin Upton R 11 119 29.2
CF Fred Lynn L 17 129 50.0
RF Gary Sheffield R 22 140 60.3

Aybar is a fine example of that self-imposed rule, as he has been nothing for Padres and Tigers fans to write home about this year or last, but he did have some good seasons in Anaheim that make him the no-doubt starter over the sentimental pick of Chris Gomez.


Pos. Name Bats Yrs. OPS+ bWAR
C/1B/OF Robert Fick L 10 95 2.2
2B/SS Jody Reed R 11 91 15.7
IF/OF Luis Salazar R 13 88 9.1
OF Ruppert Jones L 12 106 22.5
OF/1B Matt Stairs L 19 117 14.3

I was set on Rondell White, but at the last minute I swapped in Jones due to his handedness. Joe Randa was also a late cut, but Salazar's defensive versatility got him the spot despite his inferior offense.

Starting rotation:

Name Throws Yrs. ERA+ bWAR
David Wells L 21 108 53.6
Pat Dobson R 11 100 16.9
Mickey Lolich L 16 104 49.1
Joe Niekro R 22 98 29.9
Johnny Podres L 15 105 30.0

That's a lot of lefties, but I spaced them out so opposing managers could never get comfortable with a set lineup during a series. Starters who didn't quite make the cut include Randy Wolf, another lefty, and right-handers Storm Davis and Edwin Jackson.


Name Throws Yrs. ERA+ bWAR
Fernando Rodney R 15 111 7.1
Joaquin Benoit R 16 117 18.3
Lance McCullers R 7 116 5.5
Doug Brocail R 15 109 10.9
Sid Monge L 10 108 8.8
Tim Worrell R 14 107 9.0
Mark Thurmond L 8 101 4.7

WAR isn't especially helpful when it comes to relief pitchers, but I included it for the sake of consistency. It pained me to omit Bob Miller and his ridiculous 1971 season, but I ultimately opted to go with a second lefty who could work in long relief or as a swingman.

What would you have done differently? Let us know in the comments.