It’s been a busy day for the Yankees so far. They signed DJ LeMahieu, plus avoided arbitration with the likes of Austin Romine and Aaron Hicks. The progress hit a speedbump, however, when it came to their ace right-hander. According to Jeff Passan, the Yankees and Luis Severino couldn’t agree to a contract and well head to a hearing.
Severino, 24, pitched to a 3.39 ERA with a 2.95 FIP over 191.1 innings in 2018. Using his complete season, however, isn’t an entirely useful barometer for gauging his success on the mound. Severino had posted extreme splits before and after the All-Star break. In the first half, he legitimately performed like a top-10 pitcher in baseball. His 2.31 ERA (2.75 FIP) before the break had many dreaming of a Cy Young Award. Then he became nearly unplayable down the stretch, pitching to a 5.57 ERA (3.37 FIP).
Some attributed the struggles to tipping pitches. Others suggested that the heavy workload of the last two years caught up to him. Regardless, something happened that caused him to see a precipitous downturn in effectiveness.
MLB Trade Rumors project Severino to earn $5.1 million. The Yankees will likely hold the second half against him to lower that price. One should hope that this gets resolved quickly and before a hearing, because bad memories still linger from the Dellin Betances saga.