Padres rumors: Joe Musgrove frustrated by recent contract offers

San Diego Padres, Joe Musgrove not on same page in contract extension negotiations

The San Diego Padres are making an effort to extend Joe Musgrove, but the negotiations don’t seem to be progressing the way fans – or the pitcher – would like.

Musgrove will be a free agent after this year, and with a 1.59 ERA over his first 12 starts and an MLB-leading eight wins, is pitching his way to a big payday. The burning question is, will the Padres be the ones forking over the dough?

This week, the San Diego Tribune reported that Musgrove is frustrated with their offer:

“The Padres continue to offer an incentive-laden contract that sources said does not appeal to Musgrove. The pitcher doesn’t want to comment on what is happening in negotiations. But sources familiar with the recent offers from the Padres said they were frustrating to Musgrove.”

Musgrove likely will continue to say ‘no comment,’ but there are a few team factors that could be impacting how the Padres approach the negotiation. They were hesitant to spend this spring, hoping to reset after exceeding the luxury tax threshold in 2021. The penalties increase with every consecutive year a team goes over, and the Padres, who have the sixth-highest luxury tax allocations, are currently over by a little more than $4M.

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s injury also could be impacting how the Padres negotiate with Musgrove. The young slugger signed a record-breaking 14-year, $340M extension ahead of last year, but showed up to spring training with a fractured wrist that’s kept him on the sidelines for the entire season thus far. His admission that he likely sustained the injury getting into multiple motorcycle accidents did not do him any favors.

Between Tatis, Manny Machado, and Eric Hosmer the Padres are on the hook for years. Yu Darvish and Blake Snell hit free agency in 2024, but are each owed over $16M each next year; Drew Pomeranz will make $10M in 2023. It makes sense that they’d be hesitant to give out any other large contracts at this time, even if Musgrove has earned one.

Unfortunately, the Padres also shouldn’t expect Musgrove to take a hometown discount. While Musgrove is clearly very proud to represent his childhood team, he also has plenty of experience playing elsewhere, which makes it easier to see him leaving if they can’t come to an agreement. Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, he was part of the massive 10-player trade with the Houston Astros for J.A. Happ. Musgrove debuted with the Astros in 2016 and after two seasons, was again part of a sizeable pitching trade, this time to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Gerrit Cole. After three seasons with the Pirates, they dealt him to the Padres in January 2021.

On the other hand, Musgrove has pitched better in a Padres uniform than any other:

HOU: 49 games/25 starts, 4.52 ERA
PIT: 59 games/58 starts, 4.23 ERA
SDP: 44 games/43 starts, 2.70 ERA

Whether it’s him finally developing into the stellar talent we’ve seen the last two years, the comforts of home, or a combination of both, Musgrove is clearly thriving.

Hopefully, they two sides will come to an agreement so the thriving continues in a Padres uniform.