This offseason, the Colorado Rockies have given contract extensions/renewals to C.J. Cron, Elias Díaz, Antonio Senzatela, and Ryan McMahon.
They also have extended the contracts of some of their other players in recent years including Nolan Arenado, Germán Márquez, Charlie Blackmon, and Scott Oberg in recent years too.
So there are at least three players that the Colorado Rockies should look further into extending right now or in the near future.
Extending Kyle Freeland should be towards the top of the Colorado Rockies’ to-do list
Kyle Freeland should be at the top of the list of players that the Colorado Rockies should extend. Freeland, 28, has an ERA of 4.33, an ERA+ of 114, and an rWAR of 4.2 in 36 starts since the start of the 2020 season.
His best season, of course, came in 2018 when he had a 2.85 ERA and a 166 ERA+ in 33 starts. He came in 4th in Cy Young voting that year as well. While he hasn’t replicated that since (partially due to injuries), Freeland has still pitched well in the last two seasons.
That’s part of the reason why the Rockies are giving Freeland the start on Opening Day against the Dodgers.
His final arbitration year is next offseason so the Rockies only have one year of control left with him after this year before free agency.
If he pitches as well as he has in the last two years or better and, especially, if he is healthy for the entire season, then the Rockies really need to extend Freeland for a few years.
The Colorado Rockies should consider extending infielder Brendan Rodgers but there are a few things that they need to see before they extend him.
First of all, can he stay healthy. He played very well last year for the Rockies but he has never played more than 114 games in any season as a professional. Secondly, can he hit like he did last year?
If he can hit .284/.328/.470 with an OPS+ of 102 in 2022 with his homers and RBI extrapolated out to a full season (he hit 15 homers and 51 RBI, which would have been equivalent to 24 homers and 81 RBI in a full season), he is going to be a very good player in their lineup.
Unlike the Freeland and Rodgers, Carlos Estévez is a free agent after the 2022 season. As the Colorado Rockies have seen, relievers are very fickle and they are especially fickle at Coors Field.
Estévez has shown that he can pitch adequately at Coors Field, though. He had a rough 2020 season overall and at Coors Field (7.50 ERA and 9.82 ERA at Coors) but he had a 3.75 ERA in 71 games in 2019 (4.78 ERA at Coors) and in 2021, he was one of the few pitchers the Rockies had that actually pitched better on the road but he still pitched well at Coors (4.38 ERA, 4.45 ERA at Coors).
He’s a power arm that can be a setup man or a closer and he’s also been a leader and good big brother kind of figure, especially for some of the younger, Latin players (like Julian Fernández).
Especially if he gets off to a good start this season, he is someone that the Rockies should consider extending or re-signing this coming offseason.