Rockies, Kyle Freeland agree to $64 million extension

Kyle Freeland second in Rockies rotation in 2022
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland works against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Prior to the start of MLB matchday on Tuesday, April 19, the Colorado Rockies agreed to a 5-year, $64.5 million contract extension with pitcher Kyle Freeland, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

It’s worth noting that the contract includes a player option for a sixth year for $17 million each year, but in order for it to be effective, the left-handed starter would need to pitch 170 innings during the 2025 season, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Another consideration in the agreement relates to the player’s performance in 2022 and 2023, as if Freeland finishes in the Top 5 in the National League Cy Young voting, he will have the option to opt out of his contract.

In this way, the team that calls Denver’s Coors Field home assures the long-term retention of one of the key players of a rotation that includes Venezuelan Germán Márquez as its main figure.

Kyle Freeland’s numbers and accomplishments with the Rockies

Kyle Freeland made his MLB debut with Rockies in 2017.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland works against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018, the left-handed pitcher has displayed an inconsistency that has damaged his projection as one of the best young American pitchers, particularly after ranking seventh in the 2017 Rookie of the Year award.

After 126 appearances with the Rockies, 121 as a starter, the 28-year-old pitcher has a record of 40 wins and 42 losses, with a 4.28 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He also has 517 strikeouts in 663 innings pitched.

Clearly we’re not talking about a pitcher with star numbers, but the five-year extension he just signed shows that the Rockies still have full confidence in his ability to get outs.

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