Where the Yankees stand with Severino, Montas headed for free agency

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees, luis severino
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees could be saying goodbye to two starting pitchers in free agency, leaving general manager Brian Cashman with pressure to maintain a rotation that can compete at a high level in 2024 and onward.

Luis Severino and Frankie Montas are slated to hit the open market this winter, and both would be valuable to bring back into the fold. Should that not happen, here are the implications that their potential departures come with.

A Down Year For Severino Could Hurt His Value With Other Teams

Severino wrapped up his eighth season in New York and the final year of his four-year, $40 million deal on a low note. Severino’s career-low 65 ERA+ weighed him down and his 79 strikeouts were his fewest since his second season.

The latter was largely due to Severino missing the first seven weeks of the year because of a low-grade lat strain and nearly four weeks to end the 2023 campaign with an oblique strain.

The injuries coupled with the diminished output could be a detracting factor for other teams in a class that features a plethora of elite pitchers, but the Yankees know what Severino brings to the table. He’s been instrumental to their success in the regular season and playoffs. The Yankees have won five of the seven Wild Card and ALDS games he’s pitched in, though he’s failed to deliver a win in any ALCS performance due to the dominance of the Houston Astros.

Not much news has circulated regarding other franchises courting Severino. The 29-year-old, when healthy, is worth a re-up for the Yankees. Letting him walk will give New York at least $10 million more to work with in their pursuits of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto among others.

Montas Has Not Pitched Up to His Potential For the Yankees

Meanwhile, Montas played just 1.1 innings for the Yankees in 2023. Montas underwent arthroscopic surgery for a shoulder injury back in Feb. of 2022 which kept him out until the Yankees’ 161st game of the year.

In his last two full seasons played, Montas went 18-21 and amassed 349 strikeouts behind a 3.67 ERA and a 1.210 WHIP. However, his numbers could have been better had he not tapered off after joining the Yankees in 2022, where he posted a 6.35 ERA and a substandard 4.93 FIP across eight starts.

Like Severino, not much has been heard about Montas being lured away by other teams. A potential return to the Oakland Athletics has floated around but the overall market may be unfavorable for him as well.

Now finished with his one-year, $7.5 million deal, the Yankees could bring him back for less if he receives lower offers elsewhere. If not, a reunion with former Yankees RHP and now World Series champion Jordan Montgomery, though he has all the reason in the world to try and run it back with the Texas Rangers.

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