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Building an MLB team out of ex-Giants on other teams

There are 28 former Giants playing for other teams. Let’s make a new team out of them.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Game 2 Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It’s that time of year, where you look up and realize that the guy on the mound or in the batter’s box for the opposing team used to play for the San Francisco Giants. You might have noticed it on Monday night with Drew Pomeranz. Or on Tuesday night with Mark Melancon. Or on Wednesday afternoon, with both Pomeranz and Melancon.

By “that time of year” I mean “baseball season,” because this doesn’t go away after the first week, or even the first month. It’s an all season long thing. You’ll notice it in July, when the Giants face a team for the first time all year. You’ll notice it in August, when a team calls up an ex-Giant who wasn’t on their team when San Francisco first faced them. You’ll notice it in September, when you forget that Pomeranz and Melancon are on the Padres, even though you’ve seen them half a dozen times already this year.

So let’s take a look at them all now. By my count, there are 28 former Giants who are currently on active rosters. That means that you could make an entire active roster out of former Giants, with two taxi squad players to spare. Probably even more, because in all likelihood, I missed a player that was burned out of my memory I forgot played for the Giants.

Here then, are the former Giants on other baseball teams, listed in descending order of teams employing the most ex-Giants.

Note: This only includes players who played for the San Francisco Giants, not players who were members of the organization at lower levels or Spring Training.

Atlanta Braves (4)

Ehire Adrianza (IL), Pablo Sandoval, Will Smith, Drew Smyly

Here we find the former Giants players whose surnames begin with the letter S, plus the injured Adrianza, who I’m including because he made the Opening Day roster and should return to the active roster soon. It’s fun to see him finding success.

Smyly was good in his extremely brief stint, Smith was good in his moderate-sized stint, and Sandoval will forever be remembered as a franchise icon, and one of the most popular players in San Francisco history.

Speaking of which, the Panda — who looked like he might be out of the league last season — is tearing it up as a pinch-hitter in Atlanta, with 2 home runs in 5 plate appearances.

I have to say, while I miss cheering for Sandoval, watching him succeed elsewhere sure is nicer than it was watching him struggle elsewhere.

Oakland Athletics (4)

Aramis Garcia, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Burch Smith

The team across the bay has opted for a battery of former Giants: three pitchers and a catcher. Solid approach.

I sleep happier knowing that Sergio Romo is playing baseball so close to San Francisco, even if it’s still a different team. It’s close.

As for Petit ... well, this is just your annual reminder that he is one of the most underrated players in modern Giants history. I’ll forever be sad that he finished an out shy of a perfect game, because that would have helped him gain the popularity and recognition he deserved.

Pittsburgh Pirates (4)

Tyler Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton

Here lie the former Giants pitchers who did not pan out. Two reclamation projects who were not reclaimed enough to be worth keeping, and two first-round picks who never materialized quite the way the Giants had envisioned.

Philadelphia Phillies (3)

Sam Coonrod, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Moore

If you had to put together the weirdest trio of former Giants still playing, this would probably be it.

Arizona Diamondbacks (2)

Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Vogt

I am not enjoying watching Bumgarner struggle in his new home, but I am enjoying him getting to stand in the batter’s box again.

San Diego Padres (2)

Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz

Two pitchers who had a lot of success prior to the Giants, a lot of success after the Giants, and very limited success while with the Giants.

Boston Red Sox (1)

Christian Arroyo

It’s been a while since Arroyo was regarded as one of the best prospects for an iconic west coast team. And now he’s a regular player for an iconic east coast team. Good for him.

Chicago Cubs (1)

Matt Duffy

Matt Duffy forever.

That is all.

Detroit Tigers (1)

Derek Holland

Derek Holland is still playing baseball. Who knew.

Los Angeles Angels (1)

Tony Watson

It took until the very end of Spring Training for Watson to find a new home after three years with the Giants. Which is weird to me, because even though he regressed, he is still a totally fine reliever.

Miami Marlins (1)

Adam Duvall

Duvall! Still around, still doing his thing.

Milwaukee Brewers (1)

Daniel Robertson

Robertson felt like exactly the kind of player the Giants would pick up, and exactly the kind of player they would then let go. Which is what happened. Hopefully he plays well in Milwaukee, as he definitely has a lot of talent.

New York Mets (1)

Kevin Pillar

Remember when Kevin Pillar earned an MVP vote while hitting below league average on a 77-win Giants team?

Texas Rangers (1)

Charlie Culberson

We will never forget that the first 23 plate appearances of Culberson’s career came in a Giants jersey.

Toronto Blue Jays (1)

Joe Panik

Panik is part of an infield that also includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Marcus Semien. That’s a lot of fun.

Mostly though, let’s just take a moment to love Joe Panik, who is objectively the best.

14 teams do not have a former Giant on their roster

I am sad to report that the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Baseball Team, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, and Washington Nationals do not have any ex-Giants on their roster.

I am pleased to report that the Los Angeles Dodgers do not have any ex-Giants on their roster.

Building a roster of ex-Giants

Here then, is a 26-player roster of former Giants on other teams:

C: Stephen Vogt
1B: Pablo Sandoval
2B: Joe Panik
3B: Matt Duffy
SS: Ehire Adrianza
LF: Adam Duvall
CF: Kevin Pillar
RF: Andrew McCutchen

SP1: Drew Smyly
SP2: Madison Bumgarner
SP3: Tyler Anderson
SP4: Matt Moore
SP5: Trevor Cahill

Bench: Christian Arroyo, Charlie Culberson, Aramis Garcia, Daniel Robertson

Bullpen: Sam Coonrod, Kyle Crick, Yusmeiro Petit, Drew Pomeranz, Sergio Romo, Burch Smith, Tony Watson

Setup man: Mark Melancon

Closer: Will Smith

Taxi squad: Derek Holland, Chris Stratton

100 win team, easily.