NASHVILLE — As they considered how much rotation help they’ll need, surveyed the market for starting pitchers, dug deep on what went wrong for Luis Severino last season and hired a manager who knows him well, the Mets came to believe: We can fix him.
Severino was the first addition to the rotation of the Mets’ offseason, signing a one-year, $13 million contract that became official last week. He won’t be the last.
President of baseball operations David Stearns said Monday that the Mets will add “at least one more” rotation piece.
In Severino, the Mets acquired a veteran righthander who usually is excellent when healthy but often hasn’t been healthy. Severino had a 6.65 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) for the Yankees last season.
“We think we can hopefully help him stay healthy,” Stearns said. “He’s putting in the work this offseason. He understands the importance of this year in his overall career arc, and we’re going to do everything we can to support him in that.”
Severino is taking a different approach to training this offseason in an attempt to stay healthy, Stearns said, declining to get specific. And the Mets think his numbers in 2023 were so ugly in part because of “some subtle changes” to the quality of his pitches and in part because he was unlucky.
“He did suffer from misfortune last year,” Stearns said, “and so if we can help him with the health . . . and then if we can have a little bit of a reversion to a normal luck and fortunate environment, we think we’ve got a really good pitcher.”
New manager Carlos Mendoza has known Severino since about 2012, when Severino was in his first year in the Yankees’ farm system and Mendoza worked in player development.
“Look, he went through a lot, but the one thing that he’s got is that he wants to take the ball,” Mendoza said. “Whenever he can, he wants to take the ball. He’s a competitor. We have seen it in the past, on the biggest stage, in New York. Biggest moment, he wants to be there, he wants to compete, and that’s what we are all excited about.”