Toronto Blue Jays may be best fit for RHP Joe Musgrove

Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Joe Musgrove could be moved soon and the Toronto Blue Jays are a great fit.

According to’s Jon Morosi, there’s a good chance that a starting pitcher gets traded at some point before the calendar switches to 2021 and that pitcher could be Pittsburgh Pirates starter Joe Musgrove. If so, the Toronto Blue Jays make the most sense as a possible landing spot.

Morosi lists the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays as the top three landing spots, but considering that Pirates general manager Ben Cherington was with the Blue Jays from 2016-2019 and the two teams have already come close to making a deal for Musgrove before, we could finally see that deal come to fruition.

With very few notable assets on their major league roster to deal this offseason, the Pirates are hoping to get a big return for arguably their top asset in Musgrove and between the three teams listed by Morosi as suitors, the Toronto Blue Jays have the deepest farm system to deal from.

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Armed with multiple years of control, Musgrove just turned 28 years old and has slowly progressed into a formidable starting pitcher, poised to break out and become a more well-known name across the league.

Musgrove was worth 3.0 Wins Above Replacement in 2019 with career-high strikeout numbers and a 3.82 FIP across 32 outings and 170 innings, but injuries prevented him from coming out of the gates strong in 2020.

Fortunately, Musgrove closed out his 2020 campaign about as well as any pitcher could have. He tossed 13 scoreless innings against the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals with 21 strikeouts and two walks.

For the Toronto Blue Jays, Joe Musgrove would provide a reliable middle-of-the-rotation presence and bring a bit more stability behind Hyun Jin Ryu. If Robbie Ray can continue to improve as he did after being traded to Toronto and Nate Pearson can remain healthy in 2021, the Blue Jays have themselves a solid starting rotation.

As for what it may take to bring in Musgrove, one thing the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have is a catching prospect, with no catchers appearing on their list of Top 30 prospects. The Toronto Blue Jays have two in Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno. That could be a likely starting point.

They also have two attractive pitching prospects in Simeon Woods Richardson and Alek Manoah who they could add to a potential deal as well. Perhaps, there may even be more lower-ranked prospects who Ben Cherington is eager to have back with him in Pittsburgh that would allow Toronto to hang on to many of their top talents.

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Regardless, it seems inevitable that Joe Musgrove ends up with the Toronto Blue Jays, unless the Angels or Red Sox, who don’t have the minor league talent Toronto does, come in with an offer Pittsburgh can’t refuse.