CloseESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”
Infielder Ryan McMahon and the Colorado Rockies agreed on a six-year, $70 million contract extension Monday, capping a week of spending in which the team guaranteed more than a quarter-billion dollars in salary, sources told ESPN.
McMahon, 27, is coming off a career-best season in which he hit .254/.331/.449 and played elite defense at third base and second base. The expectation is for him to remain the Rockies’ starting third baseman even in the wake of Kris Bryant signing a seven-year, $182 million free agent deal with Colorado last week.
The contract for McMahon will keep him from reaching free agency after the 2023 season and tie him to an organization that has a history of extending home-grown players. Before the lockout, the Rockies gave right-hander Antonio Senzatela a five-year, $50.5 million deal, and they previously had locked up right-hander German Marquez, outfielder Charlie Blackmon and third baseman Nolan Arenado, the latter of whom they traded last year to St. Louis.
While McMahon’s power stroke dissipated in the second half of last season, he was a key figure in the Rockies’ lineup and a versatile infield stalwart. Should he take the age-27 leap so many have and vault himself into the top 5 in MVP voting over any of the next three years, McMahon would be able to opt out of the deal following the fourth season. The contract calls for salaries of $5 million in 2022, $9 million in 2023, $12 million in 2024 and 2025, and $16 million in 2026 and 2027.
McMahon has bounced around the infield during his five seasons in Colorado, with the Arenado trade freeing up third base, the position he played in the minor leagues. His 23 home runs last year fell one short of his career high, and his 86 RBIs and 80 runs set high-water marks. McMahon’s strikeout rate also fell below 25% for the first time in his career thanks to a drop in swinging strike rates.
Even with the signings of Bryant, shortstop Jose Iglesias, reliever Alex Colome and starter Chad Kuhl this winter, the Rockies aren’t expected to compete in a loaded National League West that includes the two winningest teams in 2021, San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with San Diego. The Rockies lost two of their best players to free agency in shortstop Trevor Story, who signed with Boston, and right-hander Jon Gray, who went to Texas.