Severino agreed to new Yankees deal before things could get ugly

TAMPA — Luis Severino’s mother wanted to know if her son won an arbitration hearing Friday.

“She called me and said, ‘What happened? You won?’ ” Severino recalled of his mother, Matilde, calling from the Dominican Republic. “I said, ‘No, but I got $40 million,’ and she said, ‘That’s more than $5 million.’’

With Severino’s agents and the Yankees not hungry for the prickly process of an arbitration hearing, they agreed on a four-year contract before walking into a hearing scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The deal guarantees the soon-to-be 25-year-old $40 million and can max out at $52.25 million due to a $15 million club option for the fifth year. There is a $2.75 million buyout. Severino had asked for $5.2 million in arbitration and the Yankees filed at $4.4 million.

Though Severino didn’t talk to Dellin Betances — who was beaten by the Yankees in 2016 when he requested for $5 million, got $3 million and heard things that angered him during the session — the Yankees’ ace was aware the process can get ugly.

“My agents told me they are going to say some bad things about you,’’ Severino said Saturday morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “It’s not fun, but it’s part of the process.’’

A process Severino will never have to experience now that all four years of arbitration were bought out, and if the option is exercised, that will take care of his first year of free agency.

Following a meeting Thursday night in general manager Brian Cashman’s hotel room, which didn’t produce a multi-year deal, each side was prepared to enter a process nobody wanted participate in. Cashman said the Yankees tried to settle before filing and had discussions about a multi-year deal that were unsuccessful. Aaron Nola’s four-year, $45 million deal with the Phillies provided hope the sides could avoid the hearing but didn’t.

“We circled back 30 minutes before the hearing and I asked [agent Nelson Montes de Oca] if he wanted to circle back to my room again,’’ Cashman said Saturday. “The atmosphere was better, different. We both said we would rather not walk into this hearing and do what we have to do. We gave a little, they gave a little. It got momentum and we delayed the hearing for a while and were able, over time, [to] find common ground. Giving and taking on both ends. They respected certain things that were import to us and [we] respected certain things that were important to them.’’

Cashman told Severino he was happy for him and his family and knew that like all multi-year deals, something can go wrong.

“It’s not easy when you are on this side of the fence to give that [money and years] and take on the risk when you don’t have to,’’ Cashman said. “We are betting on the player and we know injuries happen, but he has been special since we signed him.’’

In 96 big league games (85 starts), Severino is 41-25 with a 3.51 ERA. In the past two seasons when he was an All-Star, Severino went 33-14 with a 3.18 ERA. He was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts last year when he was very good in the first half, pedestrian in the second and pitched effectively in the AL wild-card game against the A’s before getting rocked by the Red Sox in the ALDS, when tipping pitches was blamed on the poor outing in a pivotal Game 3 the Yankees lost, 16-1.

As for contract talks with other Yankees, Betances, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks will be eligible for free agency following the upcoming season, and Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be looking at their first arbitration experience.

Cashman said there have been talks with some players but wouldn’t identify.

“On individual cases we have approached certain players. We are always open with the right people to do things if at all possible,’’ Cashman said. “We have had conversations with some, not all. If they lead to multi years [deal], great. This one did. So far, some have failed. It takes two to tango.’’

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