Yankees Might Target Reunion With $13 Million Ex-Ace at Trade Deadline: Insider

Brian Cashman

Getty The Yankees could use another infield bat. Could GM Brian Cashman target Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon?

Starting pitcher Luis Severino spent the first eight years of his MLB career with the New York Yankees. Upon becoming a free agent this past winter, he signed a one-year, $13 million contract to switch boroughs and play for the New York Mets. Could he be headed back to the Bronx before the trade deadline passes?

Buster Olney discussed that possibility on the May 17 edition of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast.

“So there’s an interesting name sort of developing there … but I saw Luis Severino (on May 12). Tim, he’s better than he was, like he’s getting better,” he said. “I told him, I said you might be like Nathan Eovaldi, where you’re like one of those guys who had a great arm in the first part of your career, but then as time goes on, you learn how to put it together. Eovaldi, as you know, went from being sort of this Iron Mike guy who went from throwing 100 miles per hour … to now being a good and savvy pitcher in terms of movement and moving the ball around.

“Just after my conversation with Severino, I think he could be that guy. So I wonder if that might be a guy the Yankees target because he knows how to pitch in New York.”

Severino Is Enjoying a Rebound Campaign With the Mets

Sevy established himself as an ace for the Bombers from 2017-18. These campaigns included back-to-back All-Star Game selections, as well as two top-10 finishes in American League Cy Young Award voting. Across 384.2 innings, Severino compiled a 33-14 record with a 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 450 strikeouts.

But after that, his tenure with the Yankees was marred by injuries and underperformance. He tossed 120 total innings between 2019 and 2022 before struggling to a 6.65 ERA through 89.1 innings in 2023.

He signed a one-year deal with the Mets to try and rebuild value during his age-30 campaign. That’s happened through his first 51.2 innings pitched. He’s posted a 2-2 record with a 3.48 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 44 strikeouts.

His ground-ball rate (42.2% to 55.8%), soft-hit rate (14.4% to 25.7%) and hard-hit rate allowed (34.6% to 29.1%) have all improved dramatically when compared to 2023, per FanGraphs.

The Mets haven’t committed to selling at the trade deadline yet. But based on a since-deleted X post from team owner Steve Cohen, it’s at least a talking point within the organization. Severino would likely be a popular target based on his past track record, recent production and contract status.

Severino Thought He’d Never Leave the Yankees

Even with a subpar performance ahead of free agency, Severino officially signing with a team that wasn’t the Yankees was probably a shock. He’d been with the organization for more than a decade. His first year of professional baseball came in 2012 with the Yankees’ Dominican Summer League team as an 18-year-old.

The Mets introduced Sevy to the media via Zoom on January 10. He answered honestly about committing to be somewhere other than the Bronx in 2024. Severino simply said, “I thought I was going to die a Yankee.”

The hurler also discussed why he likes pitching in New York and was excited to remain in the Big Apple. He likes having the fans keep him honest. Severino said, “I need that in my life. I need people that tell me the truth when I’m not doing good.”

SNY’s Yankees X account (formerly Twitter) captured these comments.

Severino might be a perfect trade target for the Yankees. They’re familiar with him, he seems to have regained his form and he knows what it takes to succeed in New York. All that might be left at this point is what the Mets decide to do at the trade deadline. And if they’d be willing to send Sevy back across town to the Bombers, of course.

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