Don’t get us wrong — this is not a “these players don’t deserve this money!” article. They all very much earned what they’re making. However … that doesn’t meant the New York Yankees didn’t overpay, or that this particular group has lived up to the billing.
After all, this is the Yankees’ payroll. It’s going to be bloated. You see what happens every year Giancarlo Stanton or Gerrit Cole have a rough stretch. The Payroll Police enter the fold and claim these players aren’t pulling their weight and that their contracts are busts. Not quite!
But in the case of these players, they’re so integral to the team’s success that they have to maintain a semblance of consistency/get back to where they once were … which kind of means they have to live up to their end of the bargain in some capacity.
Another reason for that verbiage is because these players once upon a time delivered in a way that suggested they were on the path to stardom or already there. And then the last few seasons took a bit of a toll and fans witnessed the regression, which contributed to a team-wide downturn.
This also isn’t a forum to be harsh — it’s to acknowledge how important these players are and what they’re capable of at the highest level on the sport’s best franchise.
Let’s get back to our old ways fellas, eh? Yankees fans are dying for this experiment to come full circle with a championship and it probably can’t happen if more than one of these players is falling short of expectations.
These four Yankees need to live up to their contracts in 2022.
4. Luis Severino
To no fault of his own (well, aside from maybe not communicating his ailments effectively?), Luis Severino’s last three years have been derailed by injuries. He’s pitched in 18 regular-season innings since 2019 and has added another 5.2 in the playoffs. This was supposed to be the Yankees’ next ace before Gerrit Cole’s arrival.
Unfortunately, all of this has occurred in the midst of the four-year, $40 million contract extension the Yankees so shrewdly signed him to before the start of 2019. He’s been the missing rotation piece for the last two years, too.
In 2022, he’ll be making $11.5 million and will be due for a $15 million team option (with a $2.75 million buyout) in 2023. Sevy’s Cy Young-caliber campaigns in 2017 and 2018 pretty much covered his escalating expenses, but the team really needs him to be a part-time feared arm atop the rotation (because we know he probably won’t be able to handle a full starter’s workload after missing so much time).
Severino supporting Cole was the plan, and it’s somehow turned into a dream. We need this back in reality.