Kyle Freeland agrees to a five-year extension with the Colorado Rockies
Kyle Freeland and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to a five-year extension worth $64.5 million. According to Jeff Passan, the contract will include a sixth-year player option for the left-handed pitcher.
With the new contract, Freeland will be staying in his hometown until at least 2026. Freeland was born and raised in Denver and attended Thomas Jefferson High School before going to Evansville, Indiana to play college baseball.
Freeland will be guaranteed the most money for a Rockies pitcher since 2000 when Mike Hampton was signed to an eight-year deal worth $121 million. The extension comes despite a rough start to the 2022 MLB season for the Rockies’ opening day starter.
This season Freeland has gone 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA allowing 10 runs in only nine innings of work. He does however have seven strikeouts and only walked four batters this season. His two starts make up two-thirds of the Rockies’ losses as they sit in third place in the NL West with a record of 7-3 behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
This is the third starter that the Rockies have given a contract to in the last few seasons joining German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela. Marquez was given a five-year deal in 2019 worth $43 million while Senzatela received a five-year contract worth $50.5 million during the offseason.
Pitching has been the weakness of the Rockies due in a large part to Coors Field being considered a hitter part as it sits a mile above sea level, so keeping pitchers that have had success in Colorado is crucial.
Freeland’s performance has been going downward since his impressive 2018 season in which he finished 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA and was fourth in the NL Cy Young voting behind Aaron Nola (3rd), Max Scherzer (2nd), and Jacob deGrom (1st). In 2018 he also started the Rockies Wild Card game against the Chicago Cubs and threw 6.2 scoreless innings. He has yet to finish with a winning record since 2018 though going 12-22 over the last three seasons.
The Rockies drafted Freeland with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He was the fifth pitcher drafted and made his MLB debut in 2017 against the Dodgers in which he got his first win and first hit. His current contract was set to end after the 2023 season.
Freeland has been a staple in the Rockies’ rotation since debuting in 2017 and this season will be a key part of the Rockies’ rotation as they look to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
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