AP: Mets finalizing 1-year deal with Luis Severino
NEW YORK — Free-agent pitcher Luis Severino and the New York Mets are finalizing a $13 million, one-year contract, according to a person familiar with the agreement.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because the team had not announced the deal.
Severino is set to move across town following a horrendous season with the New York Yankees abbreviated by lat and oblique injuries. A two-time All-Star, the 29-year-old right-hander went 4-8 with a 6.65 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance while earning $15 million in the option year of a contract that paid him $52.5 million over five seasons.
But the Mets have several holes to fill in their rotation under new president of baseball operations David Stearns, and they’re hoping Severino can regain the form that once made him one of the best starters in the American League.
He has spent his entire eight-year career in pinstripes, going 54-37 with a 3.79 ERA in 141 games, including 125 starts.
It’s the second time this offseason the Mets have stayed in New York City and plucked a new addition from the crosstown-rival Yankees. Earlier this month, they hired former Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their manager.
Mendoza spent the last four seasons working under skipper Aaron Boone on a Yankees team that got only 37 regular-season starts from an injury-plagued Severino during that span — all of them coming in the past two years.
He went 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 31 starts at age 23 in 2017, finishing third in AL Cy Young Award voting. The next year he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts, making his second All-Star squad.
Severino surpassed 190 innings pitched in both those seasons, but is just 13-12 with a 4.47 ERA over 45 starts in the five years since as injuries took a toll. He strained a latissimus dorsi muscle in 2019 and didn’t make his first start until Sept. 17. He made two more starts in the postseason, then had Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020.
Severino returned in September 2021 and made three appearances, then missed two months in 2022 because of right shoulder tightness. He finished 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 regular-season starts before making two more in the playoffs.
But this year was a wreck. Severino didn’t make his debut until May 21 because of a strained lat muscle, and his season ended Sept. 8 due to a high-grade left oblique strain. He went 2-0 in his final three starts after going 0-4 with a 14.18 ERA in his previous four appearances.
“He’s obviously at times been a great pitcher,” Boone said in September. “The start of his career as a starter was so promising. He really was one of the dominant starters and even through the injuries that he’s experienced over the last few years, when he has been healthy, he’s shown you that performance when he has been healthy and then this year really struggled for the first time.”
The Mets were one of baseball’s biggest disappointments last season, finishing fourth in the NL East at 75-87 despite the highest payroll in major league history. They are eagerly seeking pitching this offseason, with NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Kodai Senga and veteran left-hander Jose Quintana the only holdovers assured spots in a projected 2024 rotation.
The free-agent market features a host of available starters, but Aaron Nola (Phillies), Sonny Gray (Cardinals), Kyle Gibson (Cardinals), Lance Lynn (Cardinals) and Kenta Maeda (Tigers) have already been signed.
New York is expected to pursue Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, along with a multitude of other teams.