New York Yankees

Yankees hoping to avoid arbitration with Luis Severino

Luis Severino and the Yankees may end up battling in arbitration, but Brian Cashman would prefer to reach a long-term deal with the team’s ace.

The Yankees know just how ugly the arbitration process can be. They went through a tense battle with Dellin Betances back in 2017 and they want to avoid the same issue with Luis Severino.

General manager Brian Cashman and company would much prefer to sign their ace to a long-term contract before they are forced to battle with he and his representatives in the court room.

The good news for Yankees fans is that the two sides are at least engaged in talks about what it would take to keep Severino in pinstripes for the foreseeable future.

It’s unclear if the two sides are in the same ballpark on years and salary, but keeping an open line of communication is the first step towards a successful negotiation.

It’s also important to note that Severino’s arbitration hearing with the Yankees hasn’t been scheduled as of yet.

That may be a tell that both sides are hoping to avoid that type of conflict. Plenty of other teams and their players have already hashed out their contract terms via the contentious method.

Cashman and company may be helped by the recent deal between the Phillies and Aaron Nola. The 25-year-old right hander was scheduled for arbitration, but instead agreed to a four-year, $45 million deal with Philadelphia on Wednesday.

That should give everyone involved with the Severino negotiations a pretty good deal to use as a baseline.

It will be interesting to see just how much long-term cash the Yankees are willing to commit after how much Severino struggled down the stretch last season.

He was arguably the best pitcher in baseball before the All-Star break, but things went downhill quickly during the second half of the campaign.

Severino does deserve credit for working hard in the offseason to improve his conditioning and stamina. It was clear he lost a little velocity late in the 2018 season.

Changing his diet has allowed the Yankees ace to lose somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds coming into Spring Training. Improved fitness won’t solve all of his issues from last season, but they could be part of his solution.

Next: Yankees need to stop being cheap with Severino

Severino and the Yankees could definitely still end up battling in arbitration, but there is a very real chance they will find a way to come to a long-term agreement to avoid that sort of ugliness. Everyone in the Yankees front office and coaching staff still regards Severino as their ace of the present and future.

Don’t be surprised if they pay him that way in the very near future.

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