The easy answer to any questions about Luis Severino's Yankees future is probably the correct one. Severino has not been a durable All-Star-level performer since the first half of 2018. His playoff numbers are pedestrian, at best (5.15 ERA in 11 outings, one forgotten start time). Availability is not his best ability. A consistent smattering of good times are well in the rear view mirror, and 13.2 shutout innings against the Nationals and Tigers will not reverse the aging curve. They'll only obscure it for two wonderful, age-defying nights.
But ... the Yankees' 2024 rotation is nearly barren. Even the pieces you know will be around possess significant question marks. No matter what Carlos Rodón does to end 2023, he won't be viewed as a fire-breathing No. 2 entering next season. Whether Nestor Cortes Jr. avoids surgery or not is largely irrelevant; fears about his rotator cuff are still valid. Gerrit Cole is in his prime (knock on wood), but a rotation takes a village of depth to succeed. That's true whether Clarke Schmidt returns or is shipped away at peak value.
Severino knows he's cost himself long-term financial security with his patently awful 2023 at the worst possible time. The Yankees know they're fresh out of horses. Will they dare offer Severino a bloated, one-year pact and take the draft pick compensation in return if he finds a multi-year offer elsewhere?
What is the qualifying offer, and will Yankees float it to Luis Severino?
The qualifying offer for 2022-23 was $19.65 million, and reports say this offseason's could exceed $20 million. That would make it far more likely the Yankees try to find cheaper common ground with Severino on a one-year deal before they ever offer it.
That's also a hefty amount of money to even consider spending on Harrison Bader, too, but that's a different matter entirely.
Severino will not be receiving, say, a four-year, $60 million deal, no matter what his September looks like. Such a contract definitely would've been on the table for him if he'd performed admirably as a No. 3 starter this summer instead of struggling to stay on the field and losing his touch in June, July and most of August.
Now, the only question remaining is whether he'd prefer, say, a two-year, $18 million deal to taking one more one-year flyer with the Yankees to give himself another chance to rebuild his value in the spotlight.
The 29-year-old Severino would probably, begrudgingly, take the Yankees deal. The Yankees? Knowing that widespread changes are necessary this offseason, they're probably more likely to sever the relationship entirely rather than talk themselves into a fourth or fifth chance for Severino. Monday night's Sevy Screams were great. They didn't make him a qualifying offer candidate, and they shouldn't make him a 2024 depth consideration.