NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Yankees have locked up a main piece in the team's young core of talented stars. According to multiple reports, New York avoided arbitration with right-hander Luis Severino by agreeing to a four-year, $40 million contract extension Friday.
Severino's deal includes a team option for 2023 that could make the agreement worth $52.25 million for five seasons. If the option is not exercised, Severino would be eligible for free agency after the 2022 season.
Severino will reportedly receive a $2 million signing bonus and earn a salary of $4 million in 2019, $10 million in 2020, $10.5 million in 2021, and $11 million in 2022. The 2023 team option is for $15 million with a $2.75 million buyout.
The young flamethrower turns 25 next week and was scheduled to meet the Yankee front office at a salary arbitration hearing Friday morning in St. Petersburg, Florida. Severino had asked for a raise from $604,975 to $5.25 million in his first season of arbitration eligibility. New York had countered with a $4.4 million offer.
The two-time All-Star has long been billed as the team's next ace starting pitcher. While his 2018 campaign started off in stellar fashion, it ended on a sour note and left the Yankees questioning their rotation depth moving forward.
Severino went 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA in his first 18 starts, completing that run with 6 2/3 innings of two-hit, scoreless ball in the Bombers' 11-1 victory over the Red Sox on July 1 at Yankee Stadium. Though he got a win and a no-decision in his next two starts, he allowed seven earned runs in just a combined 10 innings.
The hard-throwing right-hander then went 5-6 with a 5.57 ERA over his final 12 regular season starts. He threw 87 pitches in just four innings of the Yankees' 7-2 win over Oakland in the wild card game before getting shelled over just three frames in New York's 16-1 loss to Boston in Game 3 of the Division Series.
Coming into camp with a new conditioning plan and new diet to improve his stamina, the Yankees are literally banking on Severino returning to the Cy Young Award contender they saw last spring.
"Of course I changed a little bit my workout, I think I maybe get a little bit tired towards the end," Severino said about his offseason adjustments. "I worked on my mechanics, maybe I am not sure. Maybe I was tipping some pitches or not, I will make sure that this year, none of that will happen."
Severino has a 41-25 career record with a 3.51 ERA and falls two days of service time short of having been eligible for free agency after 2021. He was set back when he struggled in 2016 and was sent to the minor leagues several times.
Manager Aaron Boone said he anticipates Severino will start the opener against Baltimore on March 28.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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