TAMPA, Fla. -- Now that Luis Severino and the Yankees were able to avoid salary arbitration and find common ground on a four-year, $40 million contract extension, could Aaron Judge or Gary Sánchez be the next "Baby Bombers" to cash in?
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has said that he is cognizant of the future cost of retaining stars like Judge, Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar. Though he declined to name specific players, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed that he has proposed deals similar to Severino's to others on the roster.
"We've approached certain players," Cashman said. "We are always open for the right people to do things and find common ground, if that's at all possible. We've had conversations with some, but not all. If they lead to [multi-year deals], great. This one did. Attempts so far have failed."
Judge will become arbitration-eligible next offseason, and given his standing as the new face of the franchise, it has been suggested that the Yankees could attempt to buy out his arbitration years as the Angels did with Mike Trout (six years, $144.5 million) in March 2014.
"I like to pay players what they're worth," Cashman said. "I think Sevy described this as a fair deal. This is one where we take a risk, he gets cost certainty and guaranteed dollars -- regardless of what transpires moving forward -- and he has a chance to go back into free agency down the line. I think it's a win-win for all parties."
In recent months, Cashman has said that the Yankees were internally discussing new pacts with Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks, all of whom are eligible for free agency after this season.
"Everything is connected," Cashman said. "Now our payroll has continued to increase. We're preparing for that as these players who we think are very special continue their journeys. Hopefully we have a lot of success for our fans because of it."
Jacoby Ellsbury (plantar fasciitis) is unable to run on flat ground, and he is not expected to arrive in Yankees camp until at least mid-March, Cashman said, which means that the veteran outfielder is likely to begin the regular season on the injured list.
Cashman said that Ellsbury has been working out for six to eight hours each day at the Exos facility in Phoenix, where he is receiving one-on-one physical therapy under the supervision of Michael Schuk, the team's assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist.
"We're in constant communication," Cashman said. "[Schuk] was able to physically assess where he's at and make the recommendation for us. I think flying him here will slow it down. ... There still is an expectation that he'll be able to return to full activities and hopefully show us and our fan base the player he's capable of being, when his body allows."
I see you
Trevor Stephan was a late invitee to camp, but the 23-year-old right-hander has already impressed manager Aaron Boone. Stephan is rated as the Yankees' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
"The stuff, the repertoire, the three pitches," Boone said. "Obviously not having seen him in person at all ... he threw to hitters. It was exciting to see one of our young guys that maybe doesn't impact our club this year, but it's a little glimpse of guys on their way."
Raynel Espinal's arrival has been delayed due to a visa issue. The Dominican right-hander was 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 41 games (three starts) for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, then pitched in the Dominican Winter League.