The Yankees have agreed to a four-year deal with right-handed starting pitcher Luis Severino that will guarantee him $40 million. It includes a club option for a fifth year — one that the Yankees will almost assuredly pick up unless his career goes in the tank at some point over the length of the deal — that would buy out Severino’s first year of free agency, allowing the contract to max out at $52.25 million. ESPN’s Jeff Passan and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman were first with the details on Friday:
Starter Luis Severino and the New York Yankees are in agreement on a four-year, $40 million contract extension that includes a fifth-year club option, a league source tells ESPN. The deal will buy out four years of arbitration and potentially one free agent season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 15, 2019
Severino package: Sign $2M. 2019: $4M. 2020: $10M— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 15, 2019
2021: $10.25M. 2022: $11M
2023 (club option): $15M with $2.75M buyout. So can max out at $52.25M #Yankees
Severino, 24, has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, and though he’s been somewhat inconsistent over his four years in the big leagues, he’s still one of the most intriguing young pitchers in the sport and projects as an ace over the long term. Severino, who finished with an ERA under 3.00 in both 2015 and 2017, got off to a spectacular start last year, throwing for a 2.74 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 20 starts prior to the All-Star break. He faded down the stretch, though, posting a 5.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 12 starts after the break. He was solid in the Yankees’ Wild Card Game win over the Athletics, allowing just two hits (but walking four) over four scoreless innings, but he struggled in his lone ALDS start against the Red Sox, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks over three innings.
Severino is projected to headline an extremely imposing Yankees rotation that is also set to include James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and J.A. Happ this season.