Sunday, August 14, 2022

Padres, Joe Musgrove optimistic about renewed extension talks, per report

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USATSI

The San Diego Padres and impending free-agent starter Joe Musgrove are optimistic about reaching an agreement on an extension this week after recently resuming negotiations, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee. Acee adds that Musgrove is willing to explore free agency if a deal isn’t wrapped up soon.

Musgrove, 29 years old, just made his first career All-Star Game. He did so with a strong 16-start effort in the first half that saw him post a 2.42 ERA (157 ERA+) and a 4.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 104 innings. He’s on pace to set a new career-best in ERA+ for a third consecutive season.

The Padres originally obtained Musgrove as part of a three-team swap back in January 2021. The Padres sent starter Joey Lucchesi to the New York Mets, as well as pitchers David Bednar, Omar Cruz, and Drake Fellows, plus outfielder Hudson Head to the Pittsburgh Pirates. (The Mets also dealt utility player Endy Rodriguez to the Pirates.)

The Padres previously attempted to extend Musgrove back in May. They were rebuffed after reportedly offering him an eight-year pact worth around $90 million. Those terms appeared unfavorable to Musgrove even at the time. After all, the Toronto Blue Jays had extended José Berríos for seven years and $131 million in November.

It’s fair to write that Musgrove has outpitched Berríos during the pandemic era, suggesting that his contract should be closer to Berríos’, if not more lucrative. Indeed, Musgrove has amassed a 130 ERA+ and a 3.87 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 325 innings dating back to 2020; Berríos has a 104 ERA+ and a 3.84 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 356 innings during that same three-year stretch.

Should the Padres and Musgrove reach an agreement, it’ll be a major loss for this winter’s free-agent crop. The starting pitching class is still expected to feature Jacob deGrom (opt-out), Clayton Kershaw, Nathan Eovaldi, Noah Syndergaard, and Jameson Taillon, however, giving teams ample veteran options to sort through.

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