February 26, 2024

Right-hander Luis Severino and the New York Mets on Wednesday agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract, sources told ESPN, sending the longtime Yankee to a Mets team that plans to spend its winter upgrading a depleted rotation.

Severino, 29, had spent all of his eight-year career with the Yankees, including a rough 2023 in which he posted a 6.65 ERA over 89⅓ innings. Still, the free agent market has set the price of veteran starting pitchers at $10 million-plus a year — and Severino’s past success bought him slightly more.

Over his first seven seasons with the Yankees, Severino was highly effective when healthy. He threw 638 innings with a 3.39 ERA and 709 strikeouts against 181 walks. In his two full seasons, 2017 and 2018, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, finishing third and ninth in Cy Young Award voting and throwing at least 190 innings each year.

Shoulder and lat injuries limited Severino to three starts in 2019, and he missed the 2020 season and most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned strong in 2022 with a 3.18 ERA over 19 starts and 102 innings.

The deal, which is pending a physical Thursday, includes $2 million in performance bonuses and allows Severino to reach free agency after the season. It’s the first move of many to rebuild a Mets rotation that lost Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to trades in July and, beyond Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana, has serious questions.

The Mets will be a strong bidder for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the 25-year-old right-hander from Japan, whose deal is expected to be the second-highest of the winter. They could also pursue left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who will get well in excess of $100 million guaranteed. The Mets have been on the periphery of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes as well.

The Mets on Wednesday also reached a one-year, $2 million deal with utility infielder Joey Wendle, pending a physical, sources confirmed to ESPN. He hit .212/.248/.306 in 297 at-bats with the Miami Marlins last season and is a .263/.312/.386 lifetime hitter over eight seasons with the Marlins, Rays and Athletics.

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