Joe Musgrove, Padres Agree on Contract Extension

© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors of a contract negotiations between starting pitcher Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres have been percolating for the last month, and those discussions bore fruit over the weekend: With a five-year, $100 million contract extension, the Padres have locked up their best and most dependable starter through the end of the 2027 season.

I discussed a possible Musgrove extension a couple of weeks ago, and not much has changed in the right-hander’s valuation since then, when ZiPS thought that a five year, $126 million contract would be fair for both sides. That makes landing Musgrove for $100 million a nice deal for the Friars, likely the result of some unknown combination of canniness, Musgrove’s comfort at the top of the rotation, and his stated desire to stay with his hometown team (Musgrove is from the San Diego area).

For Padres fans, it must be a relief to get this extension done — even when most of the factors suggest a deal can be reached, there’s no guarantee until there’s ink on the paper. Being from Baltimore, I think back on the acrimonious end to Mike Mussina‘s time in Charm City. Mussina had previously given the O’s a very good deal on a three-year, $21 million contract that bought out a year of free agency, but when he actually did hit the open market, the O’s basically underbid the Yankees, working on the assumption that a hometown discount would be permanently built into his contracts. That the second half of Moose’s Hall of Fame career came with the Yankees still makes me sad! ZiPS projects Musgrove as the best pitcher available in free agency — his projection edges out Carlos Rodón’s — and as with Mussina and the Yankees, all bets are off once the 29 other teams can bid on your franchise pitcher.

Signing Musgrove gives the Padres one less problem to worry about with their long-term rotation. The team still has Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea hitting free agency this winter, and Yu Darvish and Blake Snell after 2023. The extension also makes Musgrove a significant pitcher in the context of Padres history, especially if the deal works out. San Diego has had a franchise closer in Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, but has so far missed out on an equally great starter, one who makes the Hall of Fame or at least comes close. Eric Show remains the only Padre in team history to rack up 100 wins for the franchise, and no pitcher has accumulated 30 WAR while wearing mustard (we won’t talk about those blue uniforms). By comparison, the Royals, who debuted the same year as the Padres, have had six 100-win pitchers and five that passed the 30-WAR mark. The Expos/Nationals have had three in each category, and even the Pilots/Brewers have done slightly better.

If Musgrove meets his projections, he’ll stand at 88 Padres wins at the end of his contract and 25.8 WAR. That already would rank him as one of the team’s greats.

Best Padres Pitchers by WAR
Name W WAR
Jake Peavy 92 28.8
Joe Musgrove (Proj. through 2027) 88 25.8
Trevor Hoffman 54 25.1
Randy Jones 92 23.2
Andy Benes 69 22.6
Andy Ashby 70 18.0
Bruce Hurst 55 15.9
Ed Whitson 77 15.1
Joey Hamilton 55 12.4
Brian Lawrence 49 11.5
Eric Show 100 11.4
Gaylord Perry 33 10.2
Kevin Brown 18 9.6
Tyson Ross 32 9.4
Adam Eaton 47 9.3
Heath Bell 27 8.9
Greg Harris 41 8.9
Mat Latos 27 8.6
Chris Young 33 8.3
Dave Dravecky 53 8.0

That’s right, in more than a half-century, only 12 Padres pitchers have gotten to double-digit WAR.

With just over 24 hours until the trade deadline, the Padres have a lot of work ahead of them, even with their recent move to acquire Josh Hader. But solving one of the team’s pending offseason problems helps trim down their to-do list.

Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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1 year ago

Those uniforms are a crime against humanity.

Antonio Bananas
1 year ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

How old are you?

1 year ago

Younger than Nelson Cruz, but older than Joey Votto.

1 year ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

The crime is that they aren’t their mains.

1 year ago
Reply to  Claydv

I’ll be honest, I’m no old biddy and I hate them too. The colors just clash. I’m all for fun unis, but those just look like they threw paint at a uniform.

1 year ago
Reply to  EonADS

I’m young too and the uniforms are ugly. Awful color scheme. You’re not old or out of touch if you don’t like everything new and groundbreaking. Sometimes shit is just atrocious.

1 year ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

I love them, I have two. Picked up a Crockett jersey first, and then later broke down and bought a Tubbs jersey too.