Musgrove and Friars have spent months initiating extension terms, with a progression that appears to mount around All-Star Break. Kevin Asey of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported during the break that there was a belief on both sides that a deal could be struck before the unofficial start of the season’s second half. This obviously didn’t happen, but it clearly didn’t deter or purposefully stymie the conversations.
The $100 million five-year price point comes as a bit of a surprise, as the first-time All-Star is very likely to beat those numbers by a reasonable amount on the open market. However, Musgrove is a native of the San Diego area and has been open about his desire to stay with his hometown club. It’s certainly understandable if the opportunity on a nine-figure payday to stay comfortable is one he decided not to miss, especially with the strong no-trade protection.
However, Musgrove’s decade makes less than those landed by two of the best starters in last year’s market, Kevin Gussman And the Ruby Ray. Gausman secured a five-year, $110 million deal from Blue Jays. Ray signed the Mariners for a five-year, $115 million deal that also included the opportunity to withdraw after the 2024 season. Apart from the three-year record-breaking deal for Max ScherzerGausman and Ray’s contracts represented the most important commitments for free agent starters in their last off-season.
One could argue that the Musgrove is a better long-term bet than any of the bombers. Like Ray, he’ll start his new deal with a 30-year-old season; Gausman’s contract began at age 31. The San Diego right holds a career-low 2.65 ERA over 115 1/3 innings this season, just short of the 2.81 and 2.84 mark that Gausman and Ray set last year. Gausman and Ray both missed bat at a better clip than Musgrove, but the latter has a slightly better walking rate than the 2021 free agents.
Musgrove’s podium season is shaping up to be similar to that of Gausman and Ray, and Musgrove may have a better track record in the long run. Ray had a bad year during the shortened 2020 campaign in which he posted 6.62 PM. He’s shown flashes of top spin earlier in his career, but his home run and hold rates have fluctuated a fair amount. Gausman had a very strong short season, but struggled during the entire previous campaign. Musgrove has had a sub 4.00 ERA in each of its past three years, with a cumulative number of 3.08 through 58 starts since the beginning of 2020.
In this context, sprawl seems like a solid investment for monks. This is especially true given the uncertainty in Padres’ long-term rotation. San Diego can lose both Shawn Mind And the Mike Clevenger Free agency this winter. Blake Snell And the Yo Darwish Only under a season-and-a-half contract, the Nick Martinez He can withdraw from his deal after any of the next three years. Mackenzie Gor It’s the only rotational building block that’s sure to be about two seasons away from now, and the Monks can build a long-term staff around the Southern and Musgrove youngsters.
Musgrove’s contract comes with a luxury tax figure of $20 million, which will take effect beginning next season. The brothers crossed the CBT threshold for the first time in franchise history last year, and they could do so again in 2022. According to Jason Martinez of Roster Resource, San Diego’s 2023 payroll now sits around $130 million before referee salaries are factored in. The North Padres deluxe tax figure is estimated at $162 million, while the base tax threshold for the upcoming season is $233 million.
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