Luis Severino signing a low-risk ‘prove it’ deal for Mets in ’24

Luis Severino Mets
Luis Severino (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Mets signing Luis Severino is nowhere near the same as posing another ex-Yankee, Dellin Betances, by the Christmas tree and presenting him as a holiday gift to the fan base because this is not the big move of the winter.

David Stearns picked up his first piece for the Mets’ rebuilding starting rotation by inking Severino to a one-year, $13 million deal, adding a wild-card option to the middle of New York’s staff. The 29-year-old right-hander is coming off his worst season as a pro across town in the Bronx, going 4-8 with a 6.65 ERA, 1.646 WHIP, and 79 strikeouts in 89.1 innings.

It’s been a significant fall from grace for the Dominican native, who in 2017 finished third in the American League Cy Young voting by going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 193.1 innings pitched. He garnered another top-10 finish in the Cy Young voting the following year when he won 19 games with a 3.39 ERA.

Injuries began to detail things in 2019 as rotator cuff inflammation and a Grade 2 lat strain limited him to just three starts in 2019. He missed the entire 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn UCL. During his rehab assignment from Tommy John in 2021, he suffered a groin injury that further extended his stint on the shelf. He made just four appearances that year after a 706-day layoff.

Luis Severino
Yankees pitcher Luis Severino throws during a rehab assignment in Double-A Somerset. (Photo courtesy of Somerset Patriots)

Severino made 19 starts in 2022, posting a 7-3 record with a 3.18 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched, but he also missed time due to another lat strain which held him out until late May this year. So began a maddening campaign of inconsistencies that also saw the righty run into a tip-pitching issue, ultimately ending with another injury — and oblique strain — that ended his season during the second week of September. 

There will be a lot for the Mets and their pitching lab to rectify in Severino’s game, but he isn’t being brought in with ace expectations. This is the first of what is expected to be at least two more signings within the rotation — Stearns is reportedly also going hard after Japanese aces Yoshinobu Yamamoto and southpaw Shota Imanaga.

This allows Severino to perform in a lower-leverage role rather than across town when his return to a misfiring rotation put added stress on performing like the No. 2 man they were sorely missing behind Gerrit Cole as Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes struggled mightily. 

If the Mets can get Severino back on track, they have an above-average No. 3 or No. 4 starter behind Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana, at the moment. Then, that sets the righty up nicely for a longer deal come next winter.

Kodai Senga Mets Phillies
Kodai Senga (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

For more on Luis Severino and the Mets, visit AMNY.com