SAN DIEGO – Joe Musgrove grew up a San Diego Padres fan and now the right-hander gets to pitch for his hometown team, which in less than a month has remade itself into perhaps one of the best in the major leagues.
The Padres brought Musgrove home Tuesday, adding yet another starting pitcher via a seven-player trade involving the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets.
The Padres, who believe they can contend for the World Series title, sent major league reliever David Bednar and three prospects — outfielder Hudson Head, left-hander Omar Cruz and right-hander Drake Fellows — to the rebuilding Pirates. The Padres sent left-hander Joey Lucchesi to New York, and the Pirates got catcher Endy Rodríguez from the Mets.
Musgrove, who played at Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, California, joins a rotation that includes Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, who were obtained in blockbuster trades after Christmas, and Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. The Padres are considering using a six-man rotation if the 2021 season returns to the normal 162 games.
General manager A.J. Preller said Musgrove had been a focus of the front office the entire offseason.
“It's all about getting pieces that fit and the right guys from a talent and makeup standpoint,” Preller said. “I think with Joe being from San Diego, there's a motivation there, a, guy that knows the city. He's a Padres fan, he grew up here. From his standpoint, wanting to win for his hometown club, we viewed that as a positive."
Musgrove leaves a Pirates team that had the worst record in the majors during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and joins a Padres club that ended a 13-year playoff drought and believes it can contend for the World Series title.
Anchored by a star-studded infield with Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop and Manny Machado at third base, San Diego won a wild-card series against St. Louis before being swept out of the NL Division Series by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, who went on to win the World Series.