Padres trade five players for Pirates’ Joe Musgrove

Padres Joe Musgrove

Credit: USA Today Sports

Credit: AP Photo

January 18, 2021

The trading frenzy for the San Diego Padres strikes once again.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news that the Pittsburg Pirates traded starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres for a group of prospects.

Joey Lucchesi, Omar Cruz, Hudson Head, Drake Fellows, and David Bednar will travel east for the right-handed pitcher.

The New York Mets also appear to be involved in the deal as lefty Joey Lucceshi is being dealt to the Mets, rather than Pittsburg. The Pirates flipped the left-handed pitcher to New York for prospect Endy Rodriguez.

Musgrove is a San Diego Native and attended Grossmont High School. Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, Musgrove decided to become a pro instead of attending San Diego State University. Musgrove was later traded to the Houston Astros, where he contributed to winning the 2017 World Series.

The 28-year-old owns a career 4.33 ERA with the Astros and Pirates. He issues a fastball, slider, changeup, cutter, and curveball in his arsenal. Musgrove likes to utilize all his pitches with his fastball leading the way, sitting around 92-93 mph.

Musgrove pitched his best season as a pro in 2020. His k/9 reached 12.48, over four points higher than his previous career-high at 8.30. His 3.86 ERA was also a career-low.

The Padres have yet to confirm the deal, as they await pending physicals. Musgrove will become a free agent after the end of the 2022 season.

The San Diego Native already has thoughts on his return home.

This trade puts the Padres starting rotation in a place it hasn’t been in years … ready to win it all.

Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Joe Musgrove, and Chris Paddack should make up the starting five. Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, and MacKenzie Gore are also very close to starting this group. The Padres certainly have depth.

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9 thoughts on “Padres trade five players for Pirates’ Joe Musgrove

  1. Lucchesi’s use last year shows the Padres no longer had confidence in him.I think the stats bear this out. Musgrove has teased with talent all these years but was great down the stretch last year. Lots of prospects to give up but they are just prospects. The history of prospects making it is not good. Musgrove gives the Padres another reliable/to good SP which is always needed especially this year with the lack of games last year. He is signed for another 2or3 years which is also big. The Padres need to continue to draft/sign well and they will be fine. Really excited about the next couple of years in Padresdom!!!

    1. He is controllable for 2 years (arbitration), but this brings up an interesting idea. If they could sign him now to a 3 or 4 year contract then this would make this trade a lot more valuable.

  2. There are 2 components to this deal.
    1) Upgrading from Lucchesi to Musgrove. To those who wonder why bother, Lucchesi projects to 1.7 WAR for 2021, and Musgrove 3.2 (both per Fangraphs). So the Padres clearly preferred Musgrove to Lucchesi and seem to have good reason to do so.
    2) Trading away so-what prospects. Once again the club got away with dealing quantity instead of quality. Most prospects do not ever contribute to the ML team. So a club should be eager to trade FV45 and below prospects for a pitcher like Musgrove.

    1. But they didn’t trade prospects for Musgrove… they traded Lucchesi and four prospects. So, we gave four prospects for the projected difference between Musgrove and Lucchesi.

      I agree prospects are just that until they reach the bigs. I’m not disappointed in the move. But, to ignore all the prospects who are leaving this off-season wouldn’t be prudent.

  3. I think we gave up too much on this trade. You can say he’s proven where others are not. Debatable when you look at Lucchesi vs Musgrove. I believe this was lucchesi’s last “prove it” season. Prospects for a MLB proven commodity.

    I was looking forward to watching ahead develop and reach the mlb team. We’ve given up an awful lot this off-season for Preller to push an all-in season. We have a playoff window of at least 2-3 years. More if Gore, Weathers, and Morejon develop as 1-3 starters.

    I think AJ has traded away future years of playoffs for the run before us. I’m not saying I’m unhappy about where we are, quite the opposite. But, we MUST draft well and then develop well to replace what he has traded thus far.

    A last point to remember… our plethora of starting pitching is more capable of surviving injury. That was not possible last year which equaled an easy LA series win over us. It also means possible trade deadline MLB pieces to utilize in case we need an important piece.

  4. Either we gave up WAY too much or I am really underestimating Joe Musgrove. That said, Darvish, Snell, Lamet, Musgrove & Paddock, with Morejon in the 5 spot if Lamet is ailing is okay for 2021, with Clevinger and Gore replacing two of those names in 2022. It’d be great to see both Emilio Pagan & Tommy Pham bounce back with solid seasons. Still not sure the 2021 padres are quite on a par with LA yet, but it will be great to watch, and in a seven game series…

    1. Yeah, I am not sure about this. Musgrove is not horrible, by all means, but I don’t get the appeal. Statistically, he is average-to-below-average (e.g. ERA/FIP). Lucchessi had the same, if not better numbers (and with far more control, and cheaper). And, as you said, they gave up 5 players….FIVE for 2 years of a 4 or 5 starter. Hmmmmm………..

      Also, this reveals a huge lack of confidence in Paddack and/or Gore and/or Lamet’s health. That is the most disturbing thing about this.

  5. This Padre off season is bordering on absurd! It’s been a long time coming, but 2021 should be one hell of a ride! Still need a closer, Rosenthal, or back end piece for the bullpen, but it sure looks like all the heavy lifting is done.

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