MLB Trade Rumors’ Tim Dierkes has written that the “super two” cutoff for arbitration eligibility will fall at two years and 123 days of service time (read 2.123) for the 2018 season. Players who have accrued that amount of major league service time in their careers, will be eligible for arbitration this winter.
The cutoff means Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Blaine Hardy will join the list of players who are eligible for arbitration as a super two player. Hardy has accrued two years plus 130 days of service time, according to information provided by Cot’s Contracts. Hardy has been up and down between Detroit and Triple-A Toledo over the past few seasons, but has seen significant work out of the Detroit bullpen over the past three years.
According to the terms of the MLB collective bargaining agreement, players who have accrued three years of service time will be eligible for arbitration. Those who have accrued more than two years but less than three years of service time, and who rank in the top 22 percent of those players in service time among that group, and at least 86 days during the most recent season, will also be eligible as “super two” players. Those players will be eligible for arbitration four times if they remain in the major leagues for the duration.
Here is how this year’s super two cutoff compares to recent seasons:
- 2017: 2.123
- 2016: 2.131
- 2015: 2.130
- 2014: 2.133
- 2013: 2.122
- 2012: 2.140
- 2011: 2.146
- 2010: 2.122
- 2009: 2.139
At first glance, this would seem to be good news for Hardy. Instead of earning slightly above the major league minimum salary of $545,000 for the 2018 season, he would be projected to earn $800,000 while he is in the major leagues, according to MLBTR’s estimates.
The Tigers may not want to pay Hardy that much money, or risk paying an even higher amount through the arbitration process, so they may try to come to terms on a contract with him before December 1st. That is the date the club must make contract offers to all their players or non-tender them and let them leave as free agents.
Hardy also has one option remaining, so he can be sent to the minor leagues without clearing waivers. Other super two players this offseason will include Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell, Brewers’ closer Corey Knebel, and Astros’ pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.
Ten Tigers will be eligible for arbitration this winter, provided the club offers them a contract by December 1st. BYB posted the full list of Tigers who are eligible for arbitration here, with their service time and salary projections.