The Rockies and infielder Ryan McMahon have agreed to terms for a six-year contract extension that will guarantee McMahon $70MM, tweets Jeff Passan of ESPN. McMahon is represented by Wasserman.
Before fleshing out this new six-year pact, McMahon was eligible for arbitration for the second time in his career and expected MLBTR staffer Matt Swartz to make $5.5 million next season. The contract buys out his last two arbitration seasons and four future free-agent seasons. There’s no way of knowing exactly what McMahon would have earned in 2022-23 through arbitration, but based on that forecast and a rough estimate for the 2023 season, the contract will pay McMahon about $13-14 million per season as a free- agent. The terms are similar to some of the older deals we’ve seen for infielders with more than four years of service, including brandon belt (six years, $79MM) and Brandon Crawford (six years, $75 MM – also negotiated by Wasserman).
McMahon, 27, had the best season of his career, both at plate and glove in 2021. The former second round pick hit .254/.331/.449 with 23 home runs, 32 doubles, a triple and six stolen bases (in eight attempts). Park-adjusted stats such as wRC+ (95) and OPS+ (98) both felt that McMahon’s overall contributions with the bat were slightly south of the competition average, but given the strength of his gauntlet work, he still proved a lot of value.
Not only did McMahon provide the Rockies with versatility, he racked up 368 innings at second base and 842 innings at third base – he did this while playing both positions at award-worthy levels. McMahon registered a whopping nine defensive runs saved in just that small sample of 368 innings at second base, and he racked up 13 DRS in the hot corner despite not playing a full series of games there. Pretty much every stat one might prefer agreed that McMahon was excellent with the leather; he registered Ultimate Zone Ratings of 6.1 and 2.9 at third base and second base, respectively, while Statcast awarded him 10 outs above average at third base and two more at second base.
It’s easy to imagine that with a full season of games in the hot corner in 2021 – Brendan Rodgers expected to man second base, with a free agent sign Jose Iglesias taking the reins at a short stop – McMahon may take home some hardware for that defensive excellence. He was already a Gold Glove finalist in 2021, although the man standing in his way is a very familiar face: a longtime teammate and five-time Platinum Glover Nolan Arenadonow with the Cardinals.
Like any long-term deal, the signing is not without risks for the Rockies. While McMahon’s strong defense and solid running pace (9.9% in 2021; 10% in his career) give him a high bottom, the offensive gains made in 2021 will need to be sustained before the deal goes in Colorado’s favor. unpacks.
McMahon boosted his production by finally curbing some pronounced strikeout issues that had dogged him throughout his MLB term. From 2017-20, McMahon sniffed out 30.8% of his at bats — including a career-worst 34.2% in the shortened 2020 game range. That percentage dropped to a much more manageable 24.7% in 2021. McMahon always has power and a knack for making hard contact, so as long as he can keep the punchouts low there’s good reason to believe he can remain a fairly productive one. bat – at least against right-handed pitching. The left-handed McMahon defeated only .229/.312/.353 against left-handers (173 at bats) in 2021 and is a career .239/.310/.433) batter against even-handed opponents.
The Rockies underwent a front office shuffle early in the 2021 season, with longtime general manager Jeff Bridich being fired and Scouting Director Bill Schmidt elevated to the GM post on an interim basis. Instead of doing a search and searching for outside candidates, owner Dick Monfort instead dropped the “interim” tag from Schmidt’s title before the season even ended.
Schmidt, who has headed the Rockies’ scouting division since 1999, quickly set to work making sure several members of the Colorado roster would stay in place. Trevor Story had seemingly decided to move on before the year ended, and the Rox were unable to swing straight Jon Gray in extension talks. However, they have also managed to secure long-term deals for: Antonio Senzatela (five years, $55MM), catcher Elijah Diaz (three years, $14 MM) and now McMahon – in addition to re-signing the first baseman CJ Cron before even hitting the market (two years, $14.5MM). That group now joins the out-of-season marquee signee Kris Bryant between a restructured Rockies core.