The Colorado Rockies may make odd baseball decisions from time to time, but at least they have shown this offseason that they are trying to put together a winning team at least relatively soon.
They signed slugger Kris Bryant, they extended versatile infielder Ryan McMahon, and now they are announcing a long-term move to their pitching staff.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Rockies and pitcher Kyle Freeland are in agreement for a long-term extension.
“Left-hander Kyle Freeland and the Colorado Rockies are in agreement on a five-year, $64.5 million contract that includes a sixth-year player option, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN. Freeland, a homegrown player and Denver native, is staying home through at least 2026,” Passan tweeted.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland and the Colorado Rockies are in agreement on a five-year, $64.5 million contract that includes a sixth-year player option, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN. Freeland, a homegrown player and Denver native, is staying home through at least 2026.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 19, 2022
Freeland may not have the most exciting profile, but he has pitched decently in four of his five MLB seasons.
The Rockies Are Investing In Long-Term Pitching
His best year was 2018, when he pitched 202.1 innings of a 2.85 ERA.
His ERA was 4.33 in both 2020 and 2021, while it finished at 4.10 in 2017, the year of his MLB debut.
His downside is what he did in 2019: a 6.73 ERA in 104.1 frames.
The 28-year-old left-hander has a solid, if unspectacular 4.28 ERA for his career, in 633 innings.
His Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, is 4.54: also decent.
There aren’t many pitchers willing to go to Colorado, because they know their numbers will likely suffer in the thin air of Denver and Coors Field.
However, Freeland is a homegrown Rockie, and a Denver native, which likely had some weight in his decision to stay for the next five years.
The overall average annual value and contract seem a tad high for a pitcher like Freeland, without truly dominant stuff and results, but it’s the best the Rockies could do considering the circumstances.
They seem to be trying, at long last.