When the deadline passed for players to avoid arbitration, the Yankees had just one player who didn't settle on a deal for the season in RHP Luis Severino.
So, before Severino could get to work down in Tampa at the Yankees' Spring Training facility, he had to go through his arbitration hearing to hopefully hammer out a deal fast to avoid wasting any time. Well, he got a long-term extension instead.
The Yankees and Severino agreed to a four-year extension worth $40 million that comes with a fifth-year club option worth $15 million. New York locked up Severino through his 20s in hopes that he becomes the consistent ace they believe him to be.
Ecstatic that he got his big payday, Severino told the media he called his mother, and she asked if he won his hearing. He gave her the better news.
"No, I didn't win, but I got $40 million," Severino said.
The agreement to the deal came just a half hour before the hearing was set to take place. According to The Post's Joel Sherman, GM Brian Cashman wanted to get this deal done after seeing how the Phillies extending RHP Aaron Nola, saying the Cy Young candidate last season "gives us a beacon to follow."
Both sides didn't want to go through the fight of the arbitration hearing, and after Dellin Betances' experience in the past, they didn't want to repeat that with their hopeful ace.
In what is considered a very team-friendly deal, Severino will make $6 million this year ($4.5 million with a $2 million signing bonus) followed by $10 million in 2020, $10.25 million in 2021, and $11 million in 2022. And that fifth-year club option would be worth $15 million.
With newfound money, Severino joked around, saying he has "more family than I used to have." His rotation family, though, was in attendance as all Yankee starters sat in media row to listen.
Yankee rotation in the media seats for Severino's news conference pic.twitter.com/yK1yx26qUQ- Andy Martino (@martinonyc) February 16, 2019
Despite struggling in the second half last season, this deal from the Yankees shows their faith in Severino, who has shown he can be dominant in the league. And he loves that he can now get back to proving the Yankees they were right in signing him long-term.
"I want to be a Yankee," he said. "I thought it was a fair deal for me and my family."