Musgrove Pitching a Long-Term Deal

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Joe Musgrove will need a new contract after the 2022 MLB season. Keeping him in his current locale may not be all that easy for the San Diego Padres

The seventh-year pitcher had yet another quality start over the weekend, pitching seven shutout innings in a 2-1 Padres win over the San Francisco Giants. Musgrove’s ERA dropped to 1.90. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his eight starts, allowing no more than two earned runs in each. 

Musgrove and the Padres agreed to a 1-year, $8.625 million contract before the start of the 2022 season, his final year of arbitration. Entering Spring Training after the owners’ lockout, the pitcher and his team showed optimism about Musgrove staying in San Diego after 2022. To this point, an extension is yet to be announced. 

The Padres have more than enough reasons to keep their fan favorite in San Diego. He grew up a local kid. He attended Grossmont High School, located on San Diego County’s east side. In 2021, he threw the franchise’s first no-hitter, happening on April 9 at Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers. 

Future Options for Musgrove and Padres

Despite his own interest to remain in his hometown, Musgrove is making a case for testing free agency this winter. The Padres appear to already feel the pressure from this possibility. Dennis Lin of The Athletic said earlier this month that the Padres offered Musgrove an 8-year, $88 million contract extension. He rejected their offer. With the way he’s pitching, it could take much more than an $11 million average annual value (AAV) for his services. 

Musgrove, unfortunately for the Padres, isn’t the only starting pitcher seeking a new contract after the season. Right-hander Mike Clevinger and Left-hander Sean Manea will seek new deals, whether they be with San Diego or elsewhere. The Padres have had one of the better starting rotations in the National League thus far. A big reason for that has been Musgrove. Of these three, he would be the main goal, but one of Clevinger and Manea, or a player currently not on the roster, could become their target if Musgrove’s ask is too high. 

Musgrove’s Market Competition

This winter, Musgrove will join a starting pitcher free-agent class that will feature dozens of options, but won’t have many names worthy of long-term deals like what Musgrove is seeking. One of them is New York Mets current ace Jacob deGrom. Others include Jameson Taillon, Noah Syndergaard, and Chris Bassitt

Musgrove’s next start is May 28, at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like his previous eight starts, a quality outing will further raise his expected price tag. The clock continues to tick for the Padres.

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Players Mentioned:

Joe Musgrove, Mike Clevinger, Sean Manea, Jacob deGrom, Jameson Taillon, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Bassitt