On Monday, the Colorado Rockies announced that they had reached a contract extension with infielder Ryan McMahon for a reported 6-years/$70 million which will keep McMahon from becoming a free agent after 2023 season.
As Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry wrote, the signing ensures that McMahon will be a core piece of the roster as the Rockies try to build for the future. However, did the Rockies pull the trigger too early by signing him to a long-term contract two years before he could hit the free agent market?
Is it to early for the Colorado Rockies to give Ryan McMahon an extension?
Colorado Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon is coming off a 2021 season where he set career highs in RBI (86), runs scored (80), batting average (.254), and a WAR of 4.0 while cutting his strikeout rate to 24.6 percent. He also proved himself to be in the upper echelon of defensive players by leading the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved with 22 (13 at 3B and 9 at 2B).
Those numbers do point toward better things to come for the 27-year-old but he has also struggled with consistency in his five seasons in the MLB. Just last season, his power numbers fell off drastically in the second half as he only hit seven homers after the All-Star break.
Strikeouts have continued to be a problem throughout as he has a strikeout rate of 28.4 percent and his slash line of .243/.323/.433 in 452 games leaves a lot more to be desired.
Now $70 million over six years is not a lot of money considering that the Rockies just gave Kris Bryant $182 million for seven years but they easily could have let some of this season play out to see how RyMac performs before inking such a long-term commitment.
The Rockies are making a gamble that McMahon will finally have that breakout season that fans have been waiting for. One of the clauses in the contract says that McMahon will be able to opt out of the deal in four years if he finishes in the top 5 in NL MVP in any of the first three years.
If he does, this signing could end up being an enormous steal for the Rockies at an average of $11.6 million per season or it could be considered another blunder from the Rockies’ front office.
Remember, they did give Ian Desmond a 5-year/$70 million deal in 2016 and we all know how well that turned out. Only time will tell.