This offseason has already featured two superstar reunions — Justin Verlander is reuniting with his longtime Tigers teammate Max Scherzer on the Mets, and Trea Turner is reuniting with his fellow former Nationals superstar Bryce Harper on the Phillies.
What other star teammates throughout MLB history have split up only to come back together on a different team later in their careers?
Here are baseball’s best sets of teammates that reunited in new uniforms.
Bryce Harper and Trea Turner, Nationals to Phillies (2023)
Harper and Turner were teammates in Washington from 2015, when Turner made his MLB debut, through 2018, after which Harper left for Philadelphia as a free agent on a historic 13-year, $330 million deal.
They were a terrific tandem for the Nationals, with Harper winning the NL MVP Award in Turner’s first year in the big leagues, Turner leading the league in steals in Harper’s final season in D.C., and the two of them leading Washington to back-to-back postseason appearances in 2016 and ’17.
Now it’s Turner’s turn to join the Phillies on a $300 million megadeal. The 29-year-old shortstop reportedly has agreed to an 11-year free-agent deal after 1 1/2 excellent seasons with the Dodgers, who got Turner from the Nats in a 2021 Trade Deadline blockbuster.
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, Tigers to Mets (2023)
As rotation-mates in Detroit, Scherzer and Verlander each won a Cy Young Award (Verlander in 2011, Scherzer in ’13), and they led the Tigers to a World Series appearances in 2012. A decade later, they’ll be back in the same rotation.
Both pitchers made stops in between Detroit and New York. Scherzer left first after the 2014 season, signing with the Nationals in 2015 and winning two more Cy Young Awards and a World Series championship before he was traded to the Dodgers in 2021 and signed with the Mets in ’22. Verlander was traded to the Astros in 2017 and pitched in Houston through ’22, winning two Cy Young Awards himself, and two World Series titles.
After putting a bow on his Astros tenure with the second of those Cy Young Awards and World Series wins in 2022, the 39-year-old Verlander will join the 38-year-old Scherzer atop the Mets’ rotation after reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $86 million free-agent deal.
Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel, Braves to Dodgers (2022)
Freeman and Kimbrel both debuted for the Braves in 2010 and became stars in Atlanta. Kimbrel was the 2011 NL Rookie of the Year and led the league in saves four straight times as the Braves’ closer from 2011-14, including a Major League-best 50 saves in 2013, before he was traded to the Padres. Freeman stayed in Atlanta for 12 seasons and was a five-time All-Star, the 2020 NL MVP and a World Series champion in 2021 before signing with the Dodgers as a free agent.
Only a few weeks after Freeman arrived in L.A., Kimbrel — who had pitched for the Padres, Red Sox, Cubs and White Sox in the years since he left Atlanta — joined his old Braves teammate on the West Coast when the White Sox traded him to the Dodgers.
In their debut season for the Dodgers, Freeman batted .325 and led the Majors with 199 hits, and Kimbrel picked up 22 saves as Los Angeles won 111 games and the NL West title.
J.D. Martinez, David Price and Rick Porcello, Tigers to Red Sox (2018)
Three key players from the 2014 Tigers were even more important for the Red Sox in 2018 as they helped bring Boston a World Series title that year.
Porcello, who was drafted by Detroit in the first round in 2007 and debuted in ’09 with a third-place Rookie of the Year finish, was joined by Price in the Tigers rotation at the 2014 Trade Deadline, when Detroit swung a deal with the Rays for the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. Meanwhile, in the lineup, Martinez was just breaking out, as he batted .315 with 23 home runs that season. The trio led the Tigers to the playoffs.
After that run, though, the Tigers traded Porcello to the Red Sox, and midway through the 2015 season, they traded Price to the Blue Jays. Martinez left Detroit two years later, when he was traded to the D-backs in 2017.
But they were all reunited on the 2018 Red Sox. Price joined Porcello in 2016 (with Porcello winning the Cy Young Award that year), and Martinez followed in ’18 after his short stint in Arizona. With the three together in Boston, the Red Sox won the World Series that season. Porcello won 17 games, Martinez led the Majors with 130 RBIs, and Price won the clinching Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers.
Jon Lester and John Lackey, Red Sox to Cubs (2016)
When Boston jumped from worst to first in 2013, winning 97 games and the World Series, the club’s top two starting pitchers were Lester and Lackey. The two veterans won a combined 25 games with a 3.64 ERA in more than 400 innings, and the Sox won seven of their nine postseason starts (2.08 ERA).
At the next season’s Trade Deadline, with the Sox again scuffling, Lester was traded to Oakland and Lackey to St. Louis. The following winter, Lester signed with the Cubs. Lackey followed suit the next offseason, and in their first year back together in 2016, both were key parts of a rotation that helped the Cubs snap the most infamous championship drought in sports.
Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, Phillies to Dodgers (2015)
These two formed a phenomenal double play combo in Philly throughout most of the 2000s and well into the 2010s. Utley and Rollins both rank in the top 10 in franchise history in games played, plate appearances, hits, runs, home runs, RBIs, and walks, among other categories. They helped form the core of a team that won five straight division titles from 2007-11, two NL pennants, and the ’08 World Series.
The band broke up when the Phillies traded Rollins to the Dodgers after the 2014 season. But the following August, Utley followed him to L.A. in a waiver trade, and both players chipped in down the stretch for the NL West champs. Rollins and Utley even got to face off against their longtime rivals from their Phillies days, the Mets, in the 2015 postseason.
Albert Pujols and David Freese, Cardinals to Angels (2014)
The two stars who led the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title were back in the same lineup in Anaheim three years later.
Pujols, a three-time MVP Award winner and nine-time All-Star in St. Louis, slugged five home runs for the Cardinals on their championship run in ’11, including three in the World Series. But it was Freese who put on one of the most legendary postseason displays of all time, winning NLCS and World Series MVP honors. His clutch performance in Game 6 of the Fall Classic is one of the most iconic games in playoff history.
That offseason, Pujols stunned the baseball world by signing with the Angels as a free agent on a 10-year, $254 million contract. Freese followed when the Cardinals traded him to the Angels before the 2014 season.
Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, Rangers to Yankees (2009)
A-Rod was in the third year of a then-record 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers when Teixeira made his Major League debut with Texas in 2003. Rodriguez won the first of three AL MVP Awards that year, and Teixeira finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.
The Yankees acquired Rodriguez the following offseason, and he won the other two of his MVP Awards over the next four years. In 2009, Teixeira signed as a free agent with the Yankees as the headliner of one of the biggest offseason splashes ever, and the two sluggers helped New York win its 27th World Series title that year. Rodriguez homered six times during that postseason, including one in the World Series against the Phillies. Teixeira also went deep in the World Series, one of two homers he hit that postseason.
Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez, Guardians to Dodgers (2009)
The Guardians became a powerhouse in the 1990s, building around an enviable collection of homegrown talent that included Thome (drafted in 1989) and Ramirez (1991). By ’95, both were playing regularly in Cleveland, and crushing the ball. Over the next six seasons before Ramirez departed for Boston, the two combined for 420 home runs and 1,329 RBIs, as the Guardians went to the postseason five times and the World Series twice.
Ramirez signed with the Red Sox before the 2001 season, and Thome signed with the Phillies before the ’03 campaign. But their paths crossed again briefly in ’09. Ramirez was in his first full season with the Dodgers following a trade the previous summer, and L.A. acquired Thome from the White Sox at the end of August. Thome was only used in a pinch-hit role for the Dodgers, while Ramirez was a regular, but a few of those at-bats did come in the Dodgers’ postseason run that ended in the NLCS.
Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, Yankees to Astros (2004)
Clemens and Pettitte were teammates on the Yankees from 1999 through 2003, winning two World Series championships in that span. Entering the ‘04 season, the 31-year-old Pettitte signed with his hometown Astros. Clemens had announced in ‘03 that he would retire at the end of the season.
But in January 2004, Clemens came out of retirement to sign a one-year deal with Houston, reuniting with Pettitte at age 41. Clemens won the National League Cy Young award and the Astros reached the National League Championship Series. Pettitte missed the end of the season and the postseason after having surgery on his left elbow, but came back strong in ‘05, when the pair helped Houston reach the World Series.
The two would pitch together in Houston again 2006 before both returning to the Yankees in ‘07, which would prove the final year of Clemens’ career.
Mark McGwire and Dennis Eckersley, A’s to Cardinals (1997)
McGwire and Eckersley were two key contributors to Oakland’s three consecutive AL pennant-winning clubs from 1988-90, helping the A’s win the World Series over the Giants in ’89. On top of that, in 1992, Eckersley accomplished the rare feat of winning both the AL Cy Young and MVP Awards, while McGwire was the 1987 AL Rookie of the Year (hitting a then-rookie-record 49 homers) and an eight-time All-Star with the A’s.
Oakland traded a 41-year-old Eckersley to the Cardinals in 1996, and followed that by sending McGwire to St. Louis in ’97. Both players were not only reunited with each other, but also with former manager Tony La Russa. Eckersley posted 30 saves to help St. Louis reach the postseason in ’96, tossing seven scoreless innings and picking up four saves that October. McGwire then won the great home run race of 1998, hitting 70 homers to outslug Sammy Sosa and set what was then a single-season record.
Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, Mets to Yankees (1996)
Strawberry and Gooden were two young superstars at the heart of the 1986 World Series champion Mets. Strawberry was the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year, and Gooden followed him by winning the honor in ’84. The next season, 1985, Gooden won the NL Cy Young Award with one of the greatest single-season performances ever, going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts to win MLB’s pitching Triple Crown. Strawberry was named an All-Star for the second time, part of a run of eight straight All-Star selections from 1984-91.
Both players struggled with substance abuse during their careers, which led Gooden to check into a drug rehabilitation facility prior to the 1987 season and Strawberry’s performance to decline before he missed the ’95 season entirely. But the two returned to the field with the Yankees in 1996 and helped New York start a dynasty by winning the first of four World Series between ’96 and 2000. Along the way, Gooden threw his first and only no-hitter on May 14 against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
Andres Galarraga and Larry Walker, Expos to Rockies (1995)
Galarraga had a breakout season with Montreal in 1988, with a league-best 184 hits and 44 doubles to go along with 29 home runs. Walker debuted in August of the following season, and quickly became a star in his own right.
Galarraga eventually signed with the expansion Rockies as a free agent, winning the NL batting average title in his first season with Colorado in 1993. Walker signed with Colorado as a free agent in ’95 and the two, as part of the “Blake Street Bombers,” helped the Rockies reach the postseason that October. Walker then broke out with a career season in ’97, batting .366 with a league-leading 49 homers plus 33 steals to win the NL MVP Award.
Rickey Henderson and Dave Stewart, A’s to Blue Jays (1993)
In June 1989, Oakland reacquired Henderson in a trade with the Yankees, and the move paid immediate dividends. Rickey did his thing the rest of that season, with a .425 on-base percentage and 52 steals in 85 games, joining a club that had Stewart in the midst of his third consecutive 20-win season atop the rotation. In the postseason, Henderson took MVP honors in the ALCS against Toronto, and Stewart did the same in the World Series against San Francisco.
After the 1992 season, Stewart signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays, who at that year’s Trade Deadline acquired Henderson from Oakland. Neither player repeated his Oakland performance in Canada, though Stewart did take ALCS MVP honors. The result was the same, though, as the Jays won the World Series
Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, Reds to Phillies (1983)
Three legends of the Big Red Machine reunited in Philadelphia late in their careers. Rose was the first to go to the Phillies, as MLB’s all-time hits leader signed with the club as a free agent before the 1979 season.
Four seasons later, Morgan and Perez both joined him — Morgan was traded from the Giants to the Phillies in December of 1982, and Perez signed with Philadelphia as a free agent a month later. All three players, who had led the Reds to their back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and ’76, were in the twilight of their careers by the time they reunited on the Phillies. Rose was 42, Perez was 41, and Morgan was 39. But they still helped lead Philadelphia to the National League pennant in their only season together there.
Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson, A’s to Yankees (1977)
The two Hall of Famers were both franchise icons for the A’s and the Yankees. First came the A’s. Hunter debuted for the A’s in 1967, and Jackson followed in 1969, and the duo led Oakland to a World Series three-peat from 1972-74. Jackson was the AL MVP in the second of those championship seasons, and Hunter won the Cy Young Award in the third.
The Yankees landed Hunter in arguably the first true free-agent blockbuster in December of 1974, after a contract dispute with A’s owner Charlie Finley resulted in Hunter being ruled a free agent. The Yankees made Hunter the highest-paid pitcher in history, and two offseasons later, they made another huge splash by signing Hunter’s longtime teammate Jackson. Jackson became Mr. October in New York and led the Yankees to back-to-back World Series titles in 1977 and ’78.