New York Mets Sign Luis Severino

by Corey Pieper
New York Mets sign Luis Severino

No need for Luis Severino to even sell his house as he is staying in New York City, but switching teams. The New York Mets have agreed to a one-year deal valued at $13 million to sign Luis Severino.

It will be the first time in his career that he will be playing with a team other than the New York Yankees. It will also be his first time playing for a National League team.

A change of scenery will hopefully cure what ailed Severino last season. It isn't that he has begun to drastically lose velocity as he ages which could sometimes be an explanation. He will be playing this upcoming season at still just 30 years of age and averaged over 96 miles per hour on his fastball last season.

New York Mets sign Luis Severino

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Luis Severino with the New York Yankees

Luis Severino's last season with the New York Yankees was an unmitigated disaster.  Before that, he had been one of the young premier pitchers in baseball when he was healthy.

Unfortunately, in the last few seasons, he has spent a considerable amount of time injured. Starting in 2019, Severino dealt with rotator cuff inflammation which led to a lat muscle strain. He had Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2020. Then, in 2021, the shoulder and lat muscle issues reared their ugly head again.

When he pitched though, he was outstanding. Between 2017 and 2022, Severino went 42-18 with a 3.10 ERA!  Sadly, those six seasons were only 504 innings. He still managed to strike out 587 batters over that time span.

Then, this past season came. Severino pitched 89 innings that were very uncharacteristic of himself. Severino went 4-8 with a 6.65 ERA with only 79 strikeouts as he bottomed out with a 6.65 ERA.

Luis Severino's Fantasy Impact with the New York Mets

Signing Luis Severino seems unlikely to be the last pitching addition for the Mets this offseason as there are still questions in their rotation.

For Severino, this is the classic one-year prove-it deal. Steamer projections are optimistic of improvement, but not back to previous norms. Steamer has Severino projected for 132 innings. That would be the most innings he has pitched in a season since 2018.

His Steamer projections have the strikeouts back up to 121, but that would still be below a strikeout per inning.

Most optimistically after last season is the Steamer projection on Severino's ERA. Steamer's projected ERA for Severino for 2023 is 4.42. While that is still slightly above the league average ERA last season of 4.33, that would still be over a two-run improvement for Severino!

One aspect of being a Met that should benefit Severino after being with the Yankees is the improvement in park factor. Both Yankee Stadium and the Mets' Citi Field are considered pitchers' parks by overall park factor. However, Yankees Stadium is one of the most difficult parks for pitchers to limit home runs ranking only behind the Cincinnati Reds' Great American Ball Park and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Dodger Stadium. Meanwhile, Citi Field is slightly below the average for pitchers at giving up home runs.

Luis Severino's Departure Impact on the New York Yankees

The Yankees pitching staff is anchored by American League Cy Young award winner, and one of the top two fantasy starting pitchers, in Gerrit Cole. After Cole though, there are a lot of questions.

Carlos Rodon was signed to a $27 million per year contract by the Yankees before last season. In the first year of that contract, he dealt with a variety of injuries which limited him to only 64 innings.

Michael King ended the season on a tear after moving into the starting rotation. His last eight appearances of the season were all starts. Over those starts, he pitched 38 innings with a 1.88 ERA and 48 strikeouts to only nine walks. It will be intriguing how many innings he pitches this season, but he has shown the talent to be a useful fantasy pitcher.

Nestor Cortes was phenomenal in 2022 pitching to a 2.44 ERA over 158 innings. Then, 2023 was a season marred by shoulder injuries (are you sensing a theme here?). Cortes was only able to pitch 63 innings with almost a 5 ERA.

The current projected fifth starter is Clarke Schmidt. Schmidt was perfectively serviceable last year as an innings-eater with a 4.64 ERA. However, the team has more high-upside options in their minor league system that may be ready to break into the big leagues as soon as this season.

Last season, right-handed prospect Drew Thorpe was dominant in his first professional season over two levels. He finished the season with 182 strikeouts in 139 innings. His ERA was only 2.52.

Chase Hampton had a stellar first professional season in his own right, but it was overshadowed by Thorpe's. Hampton struck out 145 in 106 innings with an ERA of 3.63.

Finally, Will Warren is the most major league-ready of the Yankees' prized pitching prospects. Warren pitched last season between AA and AAA. He was able to strike out 149 batters in 129 innings while maintaining an ERA of 3.35.

Final Thoughts on Luis Severino

At this point, the only reliable average-data-position (ADP) data can be found on the NFBC where 62 drafts have taken place. Severino has an overall ADP of 488. That means that in a 12-team league you won't have to draft Severino at all, but can take the time to evaluate his start. In a 15-team league, that is still outside the first 30 rounds meaning he is only being taken in 50-round draft-and-hold formats.

If he is able to stay healthy, we know the substantial upside that Severino offers from his 2017 and 2018 seasons. The season-long numbers from those seasons were top-15 starting pitcher-worthy.

The likelihood of him reaching those lofty rankings are extraordinarily slim. However, even if he just meets his projected outcome from Steamer, he will more than return value outside the first 30 rounds.

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