UPDATE: Everything below still stands, though the timeline wasn’t as rapid as previously reported.
It took a couple weeks, but it sounds like the Padres and Musgrove will get a deal done:
1.) What a freaking steal. That’s such a bargain for the Padres, even when factoring in the hometown discount; and
2.) Odd timing to be hammering this out, right? Why would the Padres want this deal done before the Trade Deadline? Those aren’t rhetorical questions: I think it’s because the Padres want to know what’s going to happen for future budgeting purposes (Juan Soto?), and they want to know what pitchers they have locked up for next year and beyond (young pitchers going out in a deal?).
*previous post follows*
Among the Chicago Cubs’ many needs after this season if they are to compete in 2023, a front-line starting pitcher is probably at the top. So any impact to that free agent market – which is definitionally thin each year – is going to suck.
For example, this would suck (via the San Diego Union-Tribune):
The Padres and representatives for pitcher Joe Musgrove recently resumed talks regarding a long-term contract, and multiple sources said there is optimism the deal could be completed this week.
Musgrove, who headed to L.A. late yesterday afternoon for his first All-Star game, has made it clear he does not want to continue talking through the final two months of the season and is willing to go to free agency after the season if a deal is not reached soon.
Don’t do it, Joe!
Musgrove, 29, represents one of the clear best starting pitchers on the upcoming free agent market, having blossomed the last three seasons to the tune of a 3.02 ERA, 3.47 FIP, a 27.2% K rate, a 7.0% BB rate, and plenty of durability. Reasonable minds can differ on whether he should be *THE* nine-figure target, but there is no argument that taking him off of the market would reduce the top options out there.
Musgrove, by the way, grew up a Padres fan in the San Diego area. So, if the money is at all close, he’s probably signing.
We’ll keep our eyes on this one, because, like I said, a blow to the top-tier starting pitching market could wind up a blow to the Cubs’ efforts to compete in 2023.