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Yankees, Luis Severino have discussed contract extension

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees and starter Luis Severino have had discussions about a contract extension, although nothing is expected to be resolved anytime soon.

Severino and the Yankees are expected to go to an arbitration hearing. The right-hander filed for a $5.25 million salary while the Yankees countered at $4.4 million. Severino has three more years of arbitration eligibility remaining, so a possible extension would likely cover at least those three years and likely one or two years of his initial free agent years.

Severino, 24, finished ninth in AL Cy Young Award balloting last season, going 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and a 220/46 K/BB ratio in 191 1/3 innings. He also finished third in AL Cy Young Award balloting in 2017.

Like the Phillies and starter Aaron Nola, the Yankees may prefer to get an extension done ahead of the hearing so they don’t have to bad-mouth their star pitcher to his face. As Randy Miller of NJ.com reports, Severino remembers how the club handled its arbitration hearing with reliever Dellin Betances and agent Jim Murray in 2017. After the Yankees won the arbitration hearing against Betances, president Randy Levine said in a conference call with reporters, “[Betances’ argument] is like me saying I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut.” Levine continued, “What his agents did was make him a victim of a attempt to change a market place in baseball that has been well established for 30, 40 years.”

Murray said in 2017, “It was very ironic to hear the Yankees’ president express his love and affection when he spent the only portion of the hearing, to which he contributed to, was calling this player by the wrong first name. It is Dellin, for the record. He then proceeded to blame Dellin for the Yankees’ declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history while trying to bully the panel, saying something to the effect that the sky will fall if they rule for the player.”

Severino said today, “I hear it’s not a good experience, but at the end of the day this is a job, so they’re going to do anything they can to save some money. I understand that. If I win or lose, at the end of the day, I’ll come here to pitch.”

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.