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Yankees, Luis Severino agree to four-year, $40 million contract extension

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Luis Severino and the New York Yankees were expected to go to an arbitration hearing, but it was called off. The Yankees signed Luis Severino to a four-year, $40 million contract extension through the 2022 season, with a club option for the 2023 season.

The year-by-year details, according to Jeff Passan:

2019: $4M+$2M bonus
2020: $10M
2021: $10.25M
2022: $11M
2023 (club option): $15M with $2.75M buyout

To put that in perspective, two pitchers who just won in their third year of arbitration — Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole — will make $13 million and $13.5 million, respectively. This is a maximum guaranteed $52.25 million deal for five years for one of the best pitchers in the game. Based on various projections for arbitration for Severino, he’s probably costing himself as much as $15 million over the deal’s first four years and several million if the Yankees pick up the 2023 option. That said — as is the case with all such extensions — this gives him money in the bank now and protection against injury.

Severino filed for a $5.25 million salary while the Yankees countered at $4.4 million. Aaron Nola, who was also in his first year of arbitration-eligibility but who was not a Super 2, recently agreed to a four-year, $45 million extension with the Phillies with a similar fifth-year option.

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.

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.