According to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres are nearing an extension that would keep the All-Star pitcher in San Diego for the foreseeable future. The team reportedly tried to extend the 29-year-old earlier this season but they were unable to come to terms.
What could an extension for Joe Musgrove from the San Diego Padres look like?
This is the seventh season Musgrove has appeared in the majors and the righty has compiled a 48-49 record, 3.81 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.87:1 K/BB, and 106 ERA+ in 782 innings. He’s done his best work of late and has a 3.02 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 3.87 K/BB and 130 ERA+ in 325 innings since the beginning of the 2020 season. Should he reach free agency this offseason, he would be one of the top starting pitchers available and should be in line for a big payday.
Last offseason, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Marcus Stroman, and Jon Gray all entered free agency at a similar point in their career to Musgrove with similar career numbers and age. All but one of them received a four-year or longer contract, with Stroman being the outlier with a three-year pact, and each got at least $56 million guaranteed.
Compared to these five, Musgrove has the second-best career ERA, best WHIP and K/BB, and has pitched roughly the same number of innings per season. He has pitched in more pitcher-friendly environments than others and his 106 career ERA+ only exceeds Gausman’s.
Recent performance, however, will play a significant part in talks and Musgrove has had three above-average seasons in a row and is currently having the best season of his career. Ray had his best season before reaching free agency, winning the 2021 American League Cy Young award and being rewarded with a five-year, $115 million contract. Gausman also had his best season and made his first All-Star team in 2021, cashing in a five-year, $110 million guarantee. Musgrove’s 157 ERA+ this season matches Ray’s number in 2021 and exceeds Gausman’s 147 mark. Neither Ray nor Gausman had three straight years of excellence before hitting free agency.
Striking a deal now would likely result in a discount compared to if Musgrove continued to perform at a high level for the rest of the season and hit free agency. But there’s always the possibility that an injury in the second half could greatly decrease the guaranteed money a team would offer Musgrove. While he might not get Ray or Gausman money in an extension signed midseason, he’ll almost certainly exceed the five-year, $77 million guarantee Rodriguez received, as he’s exceeded Rodriguez in nearly every metric.
A four-year, $84 million deal or a five-year, $100 million would be reasonable amounts for Musgrove to obtain in an extension from the San Diego Padres. If he ends up reaching free agency in good health, $3-4 million more per season might be what it takes to sign one of the best starters in the game.