Re-examining The Luis Severino Contract Extension

Luis Severino is in the second year of a four-year contract extension. If the Yankees could do it again, would they still give him the same deal?

Luis Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Yankees on Feb. 15, 2019, that included a $15 million club option for the 2023 season. The deal covered his three years of arbitration and up to two years of free agency.

At the time of the signing, it seemed as though it was a very team-friendly contract that would benefit Severino in the short-term and the Yankees long-term. But how does that contract look today?

Last season, Severino did not see any action until September after experiencing rotator cuff inflammation and later suffering a Grade 2 lat strain. In three starts, he compiled a 1-1 record with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings.

More bad news struck in late February.

It was announced that Severino had a partially torn UCL and that his 2020 season would be prematurely ending. On Feb. 27, he underwent successful Tommy John Surgery that included removing a bone chip from his elbow.

Two years into his contract extension, Severino has not had much to offer the Yankees. But for what it is worth, Severino is still coming at a fairly cheap rate for the Yankees for the talent that he has.

Severino still has a full two or three years with the Yankees, depending on if they pick up his option for the 2023 season (which I believe will happen). If he can give them two years remotely similar to his 2017 and 2018 seasons, the contract that he is under may prove to be a win for the Yankees.

The contract is not bad for a player like Severino. He is a two-time All-Star that can be a top-five pitcher in the entire league. Any team would be willing to take on his current contract, especially since it is a low price for a potentially high reward. Plus the contract is back-loaded, so he only had a salary of $4 million in 2019.

If Brian Cashman would have predicted that Severino would have the injuries over the next two seasons, he may not have given Severino that extension. But, there is still plenty of time during his contract tenure for Severino to turn things around to set him up for a much larger contract once he can hit free agency.

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