The next Super Two cutoff will require fewer days of service time than usual, MLBTR has learned. Last year's Super Two cutoff was at two years and 139 days of service time. In previous years, the cutoff was never less than two years and 130 days. However, MLBTR has confirmed with two different team sources that the 2010 cutoff will be two years and most likely 123-125 days. Service time projections may change over the next three months, but the cutoff is likely to be in that range.
The abnormal cutoff is described by one source as an anomaly. But since the cutoff is percentage-based, the reduced service time needed for Super Two in 2010 may be the result of the recent trend in teams holding back MLB-ready prospects until late May or early June. Perhaps once Super Two-based service time manipulation became widespread, it lost its effectiveness.
The top beneficiary of the reduced Super Two requirement is Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. After this season Bruce will have two years and 125 days, and MLBTR has confirmed he'll be the Super Two with the least amount of service time. The Reds delayed his MLB debut until May 27th back in 2008, but he's still going to arbitration four times – starting after this season. Instead of earning $450K in 2011, he'll get millions. Diamondbacks second baseman Tony Abreu is another winner, at two years and 127 days after the season. Abreu can credit agent Scott Boras for fighting for an extra 30 days service time with last year's grievance. Chase Headley, at two years and 123 days after the season, will be the player with the most service time to miss Super Two status.
Looking ahead, a similar early Super Two cutoff after the 2011 season could affect a player like Matt Wieters, who could be at two years and 129 days. However, the collective bargaining agreement expires on December 11th, 2011, and the Super Two process figures to be one issue on the table.