Luis Severino’s trip through free agency could lead him to another New York borough, as the former Yankees right-hander has gotten some interest from the Mets, The Athletic’s Will Sammon reports. Mets officials are planning a meeting with the 29-year-old to explore the possibility of a deal between the two sides.
A reunion with the Yankees doesn’t appear to be happening for Severino, but at least eight teams were known to have some level of interest in the two-time All-Star. It’s probably safe to guess that an even higher number will at least check in before the offseason is over, given the widespread need for pitching around the league and Severino’s potential as a reclamation project.
Severino’s career got off to such a promising start that the Yankees signed him to a four-year, $40MM extension prior to the 2019 season, a rare move for a team that usually doesn’t explore contract extensions on general principal. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they perhaps should’ve stuck to their policy in this case, as Severino’s career went into a tailspin due to injuries. He pitched only 18 total big league innings from 2019-21, primarily due to Tommy John surgery but with shoulder, lat, and groin problems also contributing to those three lost years.
More lat injuries limited Severino’s availability in 2022, but he at least returned to pitch 102 innings and post a 3.18 ERA, so the Bombers exercised their $15MM club option on the righty’s services for 2023. This was another transaction that backfired, as Severino again battled injuries (an oblique strain and another lat strain) en route to a 6.65 ERA in 89 1/3 frames.
In all likelihood, Severino and his agents at Rep 1 Baseball will be aiming for a one-year contract this winter. (MLBTR projected him for a one-year, $14MM pact.). This would allow Severino to re-enter the market next winter, theoretically after he has enjoyed the type of healthy and productive season that would serve as a better platform for a pricey multi-year commitment. As noted earlier, many teams would be fits for Severino, and his willingness to take a one-year deal would open the door to offers from both big spenders and smaller-market clubs.
This means that in lieu of a bidding war based purely on money, Severino might prioritize environment and an organization with a track record of rejuvenating pitchers’ careers. The Mets themselves don’t have that kind of reputation, but new president of baseball operations David Stearns is coming from a Brewers team that had a knack for developing and finding plenty of hidden-gem arms over the years. Heading to Queens would also allow Severino to remain in New York, and once again play for Carlos Mendoza, as the new Mets skipper spent the previous six seasons on the Yankees’ coaching staff.
Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana are the only locks for the Amazins rotation in 2024, so it isn’t any surprise that the Mets are looking to acquire at least two more arms to a staff that also has Tylor Megill, Jose Butto, Joey Lucchesi, and (after a midseason return from hip surgery) David Peterson in the mix for starts. Severino may not be the most stable of options given his long injury history, yet with the Mets willing to spend at high end of the market, the team has the flexibility to pursue both frontline arms and slightly lower-cost fliers like Severino.