Pittsburgh Pirates: Bidding Adieu and Saying Thank You to Joe Msugrove

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Joe Musgrove #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on August 21, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Joe Musgrove #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on August 21, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The rebuild of the Pittsburgh Pirates, led by General Manager Ben Cherington, continued on Monday night. The move made on Monday that continued this rebuild was the Pirates trading starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres in a three team trade with the New York Mets. In return, the Pirates received five players.

This article will focus less on the impact this trade has on the team, and more on thanking Big Joe for his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After his trade to the Bucs, it did not take Big Joe long to become a fan favorite.

Leaving a World Series winning ball club to play for a team that seemed to be constantly imploding definitely would not be easy. However, that is what Musgrove was faced with when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 2018 campaign.

Without Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, the Pirates were in dire need of someone to lead the team both on the field and in the clubhouse. Although Musgrove was unable to bring the same amounts of success as those two guys, he was able to step up and become the leader of a team that needed all sorts of direction.

In his three seasons as a member of the Pirates, Musgrove posted a 4.23 ERA with 312 strikeouts and 18 wins. However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Musgrove went out there every five days and battled for his club no matter the circumstances. He was a true competitor and was able to bring a strong bond to the clubhouse through his attitude and energy.

One play that always comes to mind when talking about Joe Musgrove has to be his sliding stop and throw to first that retired Michael Brantley, on a bunted ball that seemed like an easy base-hit. Here’s the play: https://www.mlb.com/cut4/joe-musgrove-slides-to-rob-michael-brantley-of-bunt-hit-c287173392

Musgrove’s athleticism was on full display in that clip, and it also showed how he never took a play off when playing for the Buccos. Padres fans, if you’re looking for a reason to be happy about the trade, look no further than that video.

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Big Joe was a heck of a player for the Pirates, but he was an even better person off the field when it came to giving back to the community. Whether it was spending his birthday serving food and hanging out at the Light of Life event in Pittsburgh, wearing special cleats to support nonprofit organizations, or just spending time with young fans before games, Musgrove always made sure to make his mark in the community.

Thank you, Big Joe! A true Pirate and a great guy on and off of the field.