Freeland, Rockies reach 5-year, $64.5M deal, avoid hearing

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DENVER – Pitcher Kyle Freeland and his hometown Colorado Rockies agreed to a five-year, $64.5 million contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for May 24.

“We have been in talks with Kyle for a long time and are glad to finalize this deal that secures his future in Denver,” Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt said in a statement. “Kyle has been a steady part of this rotation since his debut and we are excited to have him in a Rockies uniform for at least the next five seasons.”

A left-hander who turns 29 on May 14, Freeland gets $7 million this season, $10.5 million in 2023, $15 million in 2024 and $16 million each in 2025 and 2026. He has a $17 million conditional player option for 2027, which he could exercise if he pitches 170 or more innings in 2026.

In addition, if Freeland finishes among the top five in Cy Young Award voting in any season from 2022 to 2024, he would have the right to opt out of the deal after the 2024 season and become a free agent.

Freeland had asked for a raise from $5,025,000 to $7.8 million and had been offered $6,425,000.

He would have been eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

Freeland’s deal is the largest for a Rockies pitcher since Mike Hampton’s $121 million, eight-year contract before the 2001 season.

Freeland is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA in two starts this season and 40-42 with a 4.28 ERA in six seasons. He was fourth in Cy Young voting in 2018, when he went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA.

Twenty-two players remained scheduled for arbitration hearings from April 26 to June 24. Hearings normally take place during February but were delayed by Major League Baseball’s lockout.