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Luis Severino (Photo via SI.com)

Baseball

Yankees Extend Luis Severino’s Contract

The New York Yankees have made a move that signals towards the future of one of their core players, by extending the contract of starting pitcher Luis Severino and consequently, avoiding arbitration. Severino and the Yankees agreed on a four year, $40 million contract, which would cancel the remaining arbitration years that would have occurred.

The deal also has a fifth-year team option, which could give the Yankees an extra year to delay Severino’s free agency.

The Yankees first priority should be the contracts of their own players, and by avoiding arbitration with Severino, the organization has shown that they are focused on that. Based on previous history, arbitration has been an unpleasant experience between both players and teams. The Yankees have even had some disagreements in arbitration hearings, such as in 2017 with relief pitcher Dellin Betances, who lost his case against the Yankees, where he wanted $5 million as opposed to $3 million, which the team wanted to pay him, and eventually did. Not only did Betances lose the case, but afterwards, Yankees team president Randy Levine threw parting shots at Betances, criticizing him and devaluing his abilities in his career.

However, with this move to avoid arbitration with Severino, it seems that the Yankees are possibly turning over a new leaf, and want to secure their own star players before signing any free agents to lucrative deals.

Severino has been a two-time All-Star and has been their ace the past two seasons, so this was the right move for the Yankees to do, rather than go into arbitration and have another incident similar to Betances’ case. Despite Severino having a downward slide in the second half, that does not mean that he will continue that in the future.

Severino is a valuable asset to their starting rotation, therefore, they made the right decision to sign him to an extension now, and give them more leeway to focus on signing him to another extension once he becomes a free agent.

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