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USATSI

The San Diego Padres recently made "several attempts" to sign right-handed starter Joe Musgrove to an extension prior to his date with free agency this winter, according to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic. Rosenthal and Lin note that the Padres' last offer was an eight-year pact worth "in the range" of $11 million annually.

Musgrove, 29 years old, is off to a phenomenal start this season. In five turns through the rotation, he's amassed a 1.97 ERA (184 ERA+) and a 16.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Dating back to the start of the 2020 season, he's compiled a 3.13 ERA (126 ERA+) and a 4.04 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 253 innings pitched. Those contributions have been worth an estimated 4.4 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference.

Joe Musgrove
SD • SP • 44
ERA1.97
WHIP.91
IP32
BB2
K33
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The Padres' desire to keep Musgrove in town is understandable, but so is his unwillingness to sign for eight years and around $90 million. After all, as Rosenthal and Lin pointed out, the Toronto Blue Jays forked over a seven-year extension worth $131 million to José Berríos back in November. From a recent statistical perspective, Musgrove would seem superior to Berríos, who has a 117 ERA+ and 4.1 WAR in his 279 innings pitched since 2020:

Stat/PitcherMusgrove (20-22)Berríos (20-22)

GS

44

49

IP

253

279

ERA+

126

117

K/BB

4.04

3.65

WAR

4.4

4.1

It's unclear whether the Padres intend to make another run at locking down Musgrove's services between now and the winter. Either way, the next several months will be busy for the Padres as far as their rotation is concerned. In addition to Musgrove, fellow starters Mike Clevinger (making his season debut this week) and Sean Manaea are also scheduled to become free agents at year's end. 

Should Musgrove, Clevinger and Manaea hit the open market, they'll be among three of the best starters available in the class. Other notable names who could join them include Jacob deGrom, Clayton Kershaw, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Bassitt, Zach Eflin, Noah Syndergaard and Jameson Taillon