The New York Yankees didn’t experience much turnover in the starting rotation this off-season, despite Frankie Montas expecting to miss the first month of the regular season due to shoulder inflammation.
Aside from Montas’ temporary loss, only Jameson Taillon took his talents to free agency, signing with the Chicago Cubs and leaving the team he spent the last two years with. Taillon served the Yankees well, but his lack of strikeouts and inability to perform during the postseason would always be a problem, so the Yankees went in a different direction.
They signed Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million deal, locking him in for the next few years. After 2023 concludes, the Yankees will face much bigger problems in the starting rotation but will have Gerrit Cole, Rodon, and Nestor Cortés as holdovers. Both Montas and Luis Severino will be on the open market, and there’s a genuine possibility the Yankees let Sevy walk.
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The Yankees have had Luis Severino’s back for a long time:
General manager Brian Cashman has stood firmly behind Severino the past few years, waiting patiently for his injury issues to subside.
At 28 years old, Severino is coming off a solid 2022 campaign, recording a 3.18 ERA, 3.38 xFIP, 9.88 strikeouts per nine, and an 80% left-on-base rate across 102 innings. His strikeouts dipped from his normal levels back in 2018 but has just gone through three years of injury-riddled play, pitching a total of 18 innings between 2019–2021.
Cashman picked up Severino’s $15 million club option without hesitation this off-season, locking him in for the 2023 year and hoping he can compound on the success he enjoyed last season. Considering the Yankees placed him on the 60-day injured list down the stretch with shoulder inflammation, they hope to mitigate his workout a bit more efficiently this upcoming year in hopes of getting a healthy version during the playoffs.
Having reached 100 innings for the first time since 2018, the hope is he can crack 150 innings, continuing to build off Tommy John surgery two years ago and fighting to regain his full health.
The Yankees have a ton of money already allocated toward the starting pitching rotation, and spending an additional $20 million per season on Severino likely isn’t in the cards. The team will need a prospect to elevate their game or an additional option on a much cheaper contract moving forward.
At 29 years old (then), Severino will be a hot commodity on the open market, especially after an expected quality 2023 campaign. His velocity has returned, and he has one of the best sliders in the league.
At the end of the day, Cashman will have to figure out centerfield, fill two starting rotation spots, and potentially left field. The team will get some cash off the books regarding Josh Donaldson‘s contract, adding $21 million back to the mix. However, that only takes care of one starting pitching spot, so the Yankees will have to strategize well, especially if they plan to stay under the $293M luxury tax threshold in the future.