SPORTS Mets add Luis Severino, utility man Joey Wendle as...

Mets add Luis Severino, utility man Joey Wendle as new boss David Stearns attempts to rebound, per reports

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Luis Severino is staying in New York, but not with the Yankees. Severino and the New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract worth $13 million, reports ESPN. The team has not confirmed the signing.

Severino, 30 in February, again battled injuries this past season, though for the first time he was also ineffective, throwing 89 1/3 innings with a 6.65 ERA. Multiple injuries, including Tommy John surgery, limited Severino to only 120 innings from 2019-22, though in those 120 innings he had a 2.85 ERA with 137 strikeouts.

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Before injuries became an issue, Severino was one of the game’s stop starters, pitching to a 3.18 ERA with 450 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings from 2017-18. He went to the All-Star Game and received Cy Young votes both years, and finished third in the voting in 2017. For his career, Severino owns a 3.79 ERA in 727 1/3 innings.

The lengthy injury history and poor 2023 meant Severino was likely to settle for a one-year “prove yourself” contract this offseason. The Mets are gambling on upside with a pitcher familiar with the demanding New York market. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Severino the No. 37 free agent available this offseason:

Severino had a bumpier ride last season than the crew of the Wager. He entered August sporting a 7.49 ERA, at which point the Yankees experimented with an opener to make his life easier. That didn’t work. The Yankees then let him go back to being a normal starter, and that somewhat worked. Before Severino had his season end prematurely on account of a strained oblique, he reeled off a quality four-start stretch that saw him strike out 14 more batters than he walked in 21 innings. The pitch models continue to like his arsenal far more than you would expect based on his results. That’s especially true of his slider. Severino might do well to pay heed and lean into his breaker next season. 

Severino will join Kodai Senga and José Quintana in New York’s rotation. The Mets figure to bring in at least one more starter this offseason, maybe two. They are expected to pursue Japanese righty Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the best pitcher on the free agent market. Others like Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Snell, and Michael Wacha could be of interest.

In addition to Severino, the Mets also signed utility man Joey Wendle on Wednesday, according to FanSided. The deal is expected to be worth about $2 million plus incentives, according to MLB.com. The 33-year-old hit .212/.248/.306 in 112 games around injuries with the NL East rival Miami Marlins in 2023. Wendle effectively replaces infielder Luis Guillorme, who was non-tendered earlier this offseason.

The Mets went 75-87 and finished in fourth place in the NL East this season despite an MLB-record $376.4 million payroll for competitive balance tax purposes. They sold at the deadline and traded away veterans like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tommy Pham, Mark Canha, and David Robertson, for prospects.

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