Luis Severino agrees to extension with Yankees
It’s officially extension season, folks. That isn’t exactly a new thing this year, but it does seem as though stars are becoming more willing to sign extensions this year. Aaron Nola was the first, and now another star pitcher has agreed to at least buy out his arbitration years. Yankees stud righty agreed to a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $40 million with a fifth-year option worth $15 million. This is a great deal for the Yankees, without a doubt. One of their supposed concerns and reasons for not entering the top-end of this free agent market to this point was their concern about locking up their young core. Guys like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are still going to need to be signed, but Severino is their ace for years to come, and it isn’t going to cost them too much. Severino was in the conversation for best pitcher in baseball in the first half of the year before falling off somewhat significantly in the second half. The injury concern is real, but the talent is also undeniable. With the hardest fastball among starters in the game, an absurd slider and a changeup that is more than passable, Severino has the stuff to be elite for a long time. It’s just a matter of holding up.
Which, of course, is part of why it’s hard to blame the pitcher for taking this deal. Make no mistake: If Severino pitches like we know he can over the life of this contract, he’s going to be leaving a hell of a lot of money on the table. As we talk about with all of these extensions, though, the security is hard to pass up for these players. Consider also that Severino had originally signed for just $225,000 out of the Dominican Republic and hadn’t even reached arbitration yet. Being guaranteed $40 million is really hard to pass up for someone in that position. As I said with the Nola signing, this isn’t great for players as a whole but on an individual level it’s always hard to hold it against them. As for the Red Sox, well, they’ve had some success against Severino but I’m sure they’d much rather not have to face him a few times a year for at least the next four seasons.