As far as FanGraphs is concerned, we’re just wrapping up Prospects Week. But as far as Major League Baseball is concerned, it’s just wrapping up Extensions Week. Aaron Nola signed an extension with the Phillies. Both Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco signed extensions with the Twins. And now, as of Friday, Luis Severino has signed an extension with the Yankees. You’ll remember that Whit Merrifield had already signed an extension with the Royals. Other players are surely going to sign extensions with other teams. That’s what happens this time of year.
Severino is a Super Two player who was looking at a 2019 salary of at least $4.4 million in his first of four arbitration years. That’s all wiped out now, with the Yankees having bought out all four arb years for $40 million. There’s also a fifth-year club option, that would have this contract max out at $52.25 million. The terms are similar to what Nola got from the Phillies, although Nola signed away two would-be free-agent years, while Severino signed away one. This shouldn’t be his last opportunity to make a splash.
The explanations tend to mirror one another. Teams like these contracts because they provide cost certainty. Teams also like these contracts because they usually end up looking club-friendly. Players like these contracts because they’re opportunities to become financially stable and secure for the rest of one’s life. How could Luis Severino possibly turn down a chance to make forty million dollars? Especially as a pitcher in the age of Tommy John. Severino’s set. His family is set. You know how all this goes.
This still looks club-friendly. So many players just don’t want to chance it.