The Padres should consider extending Joe Musgrove

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Padres
Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres should consider an extension for Joe Musgrove. 

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Joe Musgrove finished his best season as a pro in the city where he grew up.

The El Cajon native found his way home after being traded to the San Diego Padres from the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was a trade that many Padres’ fans were excited about, and they still have plenty of reasons to continue to be.

Musgrove pitched lights out in his first season in San Diego. Musgrove could’ve earned himself an All-Star nod with how great he pitched early on if it weren’t for a plethora of solid pitchers in the National League.

In the first half of the season, Musgrove struck out 116 hitters and finished with a 2.93 ERA. In just his second start for the Padres, the hometown kid threw the Padres’ first-ever no-hitter. Wearing the brown and yellow pinstripes, Musgrove dominated the Texas Rangers for a full nine innings throwing well over 100 pitches. That was the greatest pitching display in Padres history, and it couldn’t have come from anyone else. It was meant to be. Musgrove continuing his career with his beloved Padres is also meant to be.

After the trade to San Diego, Musgrove signed a 1-year deal worth $4,450,000. That will expire prior to the 2023 season.

Extending Joe Musgrove

The Padres should be all overextending Musgrove for the next few seasons, if not more. Musgrove has many intangibles that benefit the Padres and their rotation. He ended the 2021 season as the top pitcher on the staff statistically and was the most consistent.

Musgrove ended the year with a 3.18 ERA in 181.1 innings. He struck out 203 batters and had a WHIP of 1.081. He reached a 3.5 WAR which was the highest among pitchers on the roster. Naturally, his home splits were better than his away splits. In 92 innings at home, he finished 6-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 117 strikeouts. He steps up his play when pitching in San Diego, and that is something the Padres desperately need. If it weren’t for a complete collapse from the entire team, we could’ve seen Musgrove pitch in the Wild Card game or the playoffs this season.

What is there not to like about Musgrove?

In just one season with the Padres, he already established himself as an elite pitcher, put himself in Cooperstown with the no-hitter, and proved he can hit with seven hits and two doubles in 2021. Not many pitchers can do all of that in one season.

Musgrove can even play left field! Yes, you read that right.

Obviously, the plan is never to put him out there, but it is fun to know that the Padres understand his athleticism. He was used multiple times as a pinch hitter throughout the season.

The hometown kid will be a free agent at the end of the 2022 season. Now would be a great time to extend him so that the Padres do not have to worry about him leaving in free agency. As of now, it actually seems like it would be a questionable decision for Musgrove to indeed take his talents elsewhere, as the Padres are one of the rising teams in the MLB.

Potential 2022 Rotation

  1. Blake Snell
  2. Joe Musgrove
  3. Yu Darvish
  4. Chris Paddack
  5. Mike Clevinger
  6. Dinelson Lamet

There is still a lot of upside with this rotation. Ryan Weathers, MacKenzie Gore, and the return of Adrian Morejon should make it a lot more interesting.

If Musgrove goes on to pitch a similar season in 2022, then his value is only going to get higher. The Padres don’t want to take a chance and let Musgrove walk away, extending him as soon as possible is the smart decision. Get on it, A.J. Preller.

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Chris Spiering
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.

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