TAMPA – Luis Severino would not comment on a report that the Yankees had initiated talks on an extension. The 24-year-old ace is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and has yet to be able to reach an agreement with the team.
Severino asked the Yankees for $5.25 million this winter. The Yankees filed at $4.4 million.
No date has been set for his arbitration, Severino said Wednesday.
“I will talk to my agent later and maybe we’ll have a date later today,” Severino said.
Severino is under team control through 2022, but the Yankees could save some serious money by buying out the rest of his arbitration years.
With Severino’s track record, however, locking him up through at least his first year of free agency isn’t going to come cheap. The starting point for any negotiations for the righty would likely have to be in the four-year, $45 million range, which the Phillies reportedly just gave Aaron Nola.
But there are obvious benefits to both sides if they could come up with a longer-term deal. The Yankees are likely going to be paying him hefty raises through the next three years of arbitration. And Severino knows that going through the contentious process every year is something he would like to avoid.
In fact, Severino said he wished he could avoid the process this spring.
“Of course, I don’t think any player wants to be going through arbitration,” Severino said.
“I think the last guy here (that went through arbitration) is Dellin (Betances), I haven’t talked to him yet, but I hear a lot that is going on there.”
Betances’ arbitration was thorny after he requested $5 million and the Yankees filed at $3 million. The Yankees won the case and then team president Randy Levine ripped the home-grown player publicly. Levine said Betances might as well have asked for “$50 million,” and added Betances didn’t have the stats or role to back-up that ask. “It’s like me saying, I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut. I’m not an astronaut and Dellin Betances is not a closer.”
Speaking of Betances, he is one of three players who would be likely extension candidates this season. The 30-year-old reliever as well as center fielder Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, are in their final years before they hit free agency.