Colorado Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt continues to be busy locking down talent on the roster. Since becoming the team’s full-time general manager following the 2021 season, Schmidt has locked down first baseman CJ Cron, catcher Elias Díaz, starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela, and most recently third baseman Ryan McMahon to contract extensions. Now he’s locked down another key member of the team for the long term.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported this afternoon that left handed pitcher Kyle Freeland and the Rockies have reached an agreement on a five year, $64.5 million extension with a sixth-year player option. He can also opt out following the 2024 season if he finishes top five in Cy Young Award voting in 2022 or 2023. Thomas Harding provides a breakdown:
Details on LHP Kyle Freeland's five-year, $64.5 million deal with the #Rockies (in millions)— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) April 19, 2022
2027: $17 million player option that Freeland can exercise or decline if he achieves 170 innings pitched in 2026
The Rockies similarly locked down fellow rotation pitchers Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela to similarly team friendly deals. Márquez signed a five-year, $43 million extension with a club option for 2024. prior to the 2019 season under previous general manager Jeff Bridich. Senzatela’s extension works out to five years and $50.5 million with a club option for 2027.
This extension for Kyle Freeland comes after some tension with the club after the front office failed to reach a settlement to avoid arbitration before this year’s deadline. The Rockies submitted their offer at $6.425 million while Freeland asked for $7.8 million. A hearing with the arbitrator was scheduled for May 24th. Thankfully the Rockies and Freeland have now avoided the issue before the hearing and Freeland is locked down for the foreseeable future.
Freeland was born in Denver, Colorado and attended Thomas Jefferson High School before committing to play college ball at the University of Evansville in Indiana. He was drafted by the Rockies in the first round pick of the 2014 draft — a hometown kid drafted by the team he grew up cheering for, even making his MLB debut at the 2017 Rockies home opener. He came roaring onto the scene with a very strong rookie campaign in 2017, where he threw 156 innings and started 28 games while posting an ERA of 4.10. In 2018, Freeland built on his rookie year and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting with a franchise-record 2.84 ERA.
Now that he’s here to stay, Denver sports fans can enjoy five more years of their native son in Kyle Freeland. We here at Purple Row congratulate him on his new contract!
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This story is developing and Purple Row will provide updates as they become available.