San Diego Padres 42-27, a record that saw them tie with the Dodgers for first place in the Western National League. Their 42 wins are the third largest in the entire league, due in part to a massive starting rotation made up of Yu Darvish, Sean Manya, Mackenzie Gore, and most importantly, Joe Musgrove.
Musgrove was not only the Padres’ best bowler this season, but he was among the best bowlers in every baseball game. He currently leads the majors in ERA (1.59) and quality starts (12), and is tied for lead in wins (8), and fourth in WHIP (0.92). Musgrove became the seventh player since 1994 to start a season with 12 consecutive starts, and his start to the 2022 season was historic.
The San Diego native has been Cy Young’s favorite, if not the favourite, so far this season and has shown Padres how much he is worth to the team, going 11-1 on his start. Musgrove immediately became a fan favorite when he delivered a bang in his second debut with the team last season. He has been the best and most consistent bowler for the Padres since he was acquired in January 2021.
Musgrove, 29, is a free agent after the 2022 season and must pay. He wants a long-term contract and totally deserves one. With Sean Manaea and Mike Clevinger also eligible for free agency after the year, San Diego may want to bring one back, but Musgrove will be the priority.
Padres agreed to a one-year, $8.625 million contract before the start of the 2022 season with Musgrove. It is his last year in arbitration. In April, the bowler turned down an eight-year extension at $11 million per season. He’ll probably be looking for something close to $20 million a year.
Back in November, Kevin Gusman signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. While with the San Francisco Giants in 2020 and 2021, he put on 3.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 306 strikes in 251.2 runs over 45 games. In Musgrove’s final season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020, along with his tenure with the Padres, he has a 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 339 strikes over 300 runs in 45 appearances.
After turning down a cheaper offer and starting the 2022 season he was facing, Musgrove will likely be looking for an extension to something in the likes of a five-year deal, worth between $100 million and $120 million. If he can maintain his success and become an All-Star player in the National League and possibly become a Cy Young winner, that number will go up exponentially.
The Padres have some money off the books after 2022. Wil Myers has a $20 million option for the club, and Eric Hosmer’s annual salary will drop from $21 million to $13 million.
With Yu Darvish aging and becoming a free agent after 2023, along with Manaea and Clevinger turning into free agents after 2022, it is imperative that the Padres lock their first star in Joe Musgrove for years to come. Having Musgrove and Gore, who is only 23 years old, as a long-term start to the future would be huge for this San Diego tournament.
Padres is a team looking to compete for the world championship. With Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. As cornerstones of the franchise, their window will remain open. Keeping Musgrove in the mix increases their chances even more.
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