Padres acquire starter Joe Musgrove in three-team trade with Pirates and Mets, per report


The San Diego Padres are still adding to their rotation. The Padres are set to acquire right-hander Joe Musgrove in a three-team trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets, report ESPN’s Jeff Passan and the San Diego Union Tribune‘s Kevin Acee. None of the three teams have announced the trade.

Here are the trade details:

  • Padres receive: RHP Joe Musgrove
  • Mets receive: LHP Joey Lucchesi
  • Pirates receive: RHP David Bednar, LHP Omar Cruz, OF Hudson Head, RHP Drake Fellows, prospects from Mets

The Padres get Musgrove for Bednar, Cruz, Head, Fellows, and Lucchesi. The Mets get Lucchesi for prospects that are still unknown at this point. The Pirates get Musgrove. Got all that? Good.

Musgrove, 28, was a trendy breakout pick heading into 2020 given the mechanical tweaks he made late in 2019. Those adjustments led to the highest strikeout (33.1 percent), swing-and-miss (14.4 percent), and ground ball (48.4 percent) rates of his career by far last season. Musgrove will make $4.45 million in 2021 and remain under team control in 2022.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal recently reported the Padres were still looking for rotation help even after acquiring Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, which led them to Musgrove. All the recent pitching additions suggest San Diego is worried about Dinelson Lamet’s health. Lamet suffered a season-ending biceps injury late last year and has a long injury history.

The Padres will be without Mike Clevinger, another pitcher who suffered a biceps injury late last year, next season as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. San Diego’s rotation depth chart currently looks something like this:

  1. RHP Yu Darvish
  2. LHP Blake Snell
  3. RHP Dinelson Lamet
  4. RHP Joe Musgrove
  5. RHP Chris Paddack
  6. LHP Adrian Morejon
  7. LHP MacKenzie Gore
  8. LHP Ryan Weathers

Even if Lamet misses time next year, that is impressive depth. Morejon struck out more than 30 percent of batters faced last year and is a former top-100 prospect, and Gore is arguably the top pitching prospect in the game. Weathers is a top-100 prospect himself. When you have two talented youngsters like that in the Nos. 7-8 spots on your depth chart, you’re living right.

Lucchesi, 27, threw nearly 300 league-average innings from 2018-19 before spending most of 2020 at the alternate site. The Mets have a dynamite rotation top three (Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco) and Lucchesi will join David Peterson and Steven Matz as back-of-the-rotation depth until Noah Syndergaard returns from Tommy John surgery.

As for the Pirates, they are early in their rebuild, and Musgrove was the team’s best trade chip aside from the presumably off-limits Ke’Bryan Hayes. Musgrove has two years of control remaining and it is unlikely Pittsburgh will contend those two years. Given the inherent injury risk with pitchers, trading him this offseason was smart. Cash him in while you can.

The Padres selected Head in the third round of the 2019 draft and MLB.com ranked the 19-year-old outfielder the No. 7 prospect in their system. Their scouting report says he “could wind up with average or better tools across the board.” Cruz, a 21-year-old lefty, was ranked No. 17 in San Diego’s farm system and Fellows, a 22-year-old righty, is unranked.

Bednar, 26, is a reliever with a knockout splitter and a history of strong strikeout rates. He’s had a few cups of coffee with the Padres the last two years and figures to see more action with the Pirates.  





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