All-Time Padres Team

Last week I mentioned an all-time Padres team that I’ve been assembling. This wasn’t just an intellectual exercise. Our friends at Seamheads are running a simulation league this off-season with the best players from each big-league franchise, and they invited me to submit a 40-man roster for the Padres.

Most of the choices were fairly obvious (I’d already ranked the best players by position in the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual), but some presented a challenge. Usually it came down to questions of longevity versus effectiveness. For example, Luis Salazar spent a lot more time playing third base in San Diego than Gary Sheffield did, but only one of those guys will help you win baseball games.

I tried to stick with players who best represent the city and the franchise. That’s why Eric Show and Clay Kirby make it ahead of Gaylord Perry and Kevin Brown. At the same time, as in the case Salazar, I wasn’t going to hand someone a spot on the roster just because he played here for a long time.

Anyway, enough of my yammering. To the team:


  1. Terry Kennedy
  2. Benito Santiago
  3. Gene Tenace

This one was easy. Tenace also provides coverage at first base, not that the Padres need it.

First Base

  1. Ryan Klesko
  2. Nate Colbert
  3. Adrian Gonzalez

I had Gonzalez ranked #9 entering 2008 and said that he would move up to #3 assuming he repeated last year’s success, which he has. Gonzalez gives Wally Joyner the boot. It also pains me to keep Fred McGriff off this squad, but the position is too deep to justify his inclusion.

Second Base

  1. Mark Loretta
  2. Roberto Alomar
  3. Bip Roberts

I had Quilvio Veras ranked as the #3 second baseman in club history, with Roberts at #4. Roberts also checks in as the #5 left fielder. Between that (as you’ll see, it makes a difference) and your arguments, I slipped Bip onto the roster.

Third Base

  1. Ken Caminiti
  2. Phil Nevin
  3. Gary Sheffield

As noted, the tricky one here was Sheffield. Other possibilities were Graig Nettles and Salazar.


  1. Khalil Greene
  2. Garry Templeton
  3. Tony Fernandez

This is another case where I overlooked a brief tenure. I’d considered Ozzie Smith, Gomez, and Damian Jackson for that #3 spot. You could make a decent case for Smith, but the .278 SLG is a deal-breaker for me. I’d have to stick Tim Lollar on the team to pinch hit for him, and I can’t bring myself to waste a spot on Lollar.

Left Field

  1. Gene Richards
  2. Carmelo Martinez

I asked whether you preferred Greg Vaughn or Rickey Henderson at #3, and the answer was a resounding, “We don’t know and we don’t care.” Well, not really, but you get the point. Roberts, who ranks just behind those two, can fill in here if needed.

Center Field

  1. Steve Finley
  2. Johnny Grubb
  3. Kevin McReynolds

When I decided to omit a third left fielder, my initial thought was to include Mike Cameron. Then I realized that all of the right fielders on this club have played a fair amount of center. I hated leaving Mark Kotsay off here, too, but he just didn’t do enough.

Right Field

  1. Tony Gwynn
  2. Dave Winfield
  3. Brian Giles

Duh, duh, duh.

Starting Pitcher

  1. Jake Peavy
  2. Randy Jones
  3. Andy Benes
  4. Ed Whitson
  5. Andy Ashby
  6. Bruce Hurst
  7. Eric Show
  8. Clay Kirby
  9. Dave Dravecky

I’ve already noted the omissions of Perry and Brown. Another worthy candidate who didn’t quite make the cut was Dave Roberts. For as epic as his 1971 season was, it’s not quite enough to bump anyone else off the list.

Dravecky is the guy I added to the roster in place of a third left fielder. I’ve got him as the #11 starter in club history, but that’s only because he pitched so much in relief. The guy was mighty effective for quite a long time. He gives us a little flexibility.

Relief Pitcher

  1. Trevor Hoffman
  2. Mark Davis
  3. Rollie Fingers
  4. Craig Lefferts
  5. Rich Gossage
  6. Scott Linebrink
  7. Lance McCullers
  8. Greg W. Harris

I haven’t run this year’s numbers yet, but I’m guessing you could make a good case for Heath Bell at this point. Still, I like Harris because he can start if needed; he’s sort of a right-handed version of Dravecky.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses »

  1. Wow, San Diego really has had bad luck with left fielders.

  2. Right field is pretty impressive. Three of the top six players in team history, by my count.

    If this roster is going to be used in a simulation game, could you put Winfield in left, or are there strict rules on that?

    First base and third are great, too.

    But how about that bullpen. I wonder how the Padres would compare to other franchises, since bullpens were not prominent parts of a team before the Padres were around. The Yankees, for example, would have Gossage, Lyle, Righetti, Rivera and others.

    Of course, I guess many franchises would have a starting staff that would complete almost every game.

  3. i bet that was fun to do…..

    only thing id say is klesko’s defense lacked at first base and that could cause him to slip down. but what a great list

  4. GW Harris was always my fave.

  5. The thing I’m wondering about is that if this roster is to be used in a simulation league, what about the guys on this list that would be on more than one team’s list of “greatest” ever players? Would they be competing head-to-head? I.E, would Gossage be on the roster of both the simu-Pads and simu-Yanks, or Fingers with the Brewers, or Finley with the Astros (or D-Backs)? Because that would tend to skew the simulation in unfortunate ways, right?

    For the record, I think the list is pretty accurate, but I’d have McReynolds ahead of Finley. He played in a tougher era by far in which to hit and didn’t get to play games in Coors field or the BOB.
    And he was my favorite player when I was ten, so I’m biased…

  6. #5@David Coonce: The Padres version of Finley would use stats accumulated during his time here, while the D’backs version would use stats accumulated during his time there. As for McReynolds, Finley points out higher even considering eras, though you raise a good point about Coors Field. Finley hit .396/.433/.784 there in 24 games with the Padres.