Near Misses For Super Two Status

Some players with more than two and less than three years of service time go to arbitration, while others don't. Going to arbitration an extra time, the right earned by baseball's super two players, is a clear advantage; super twos earn more than others in their service class.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned that 19 players qualified for super two status this year. But what about the others, those who missed the cut by a couple of weeks or a couple of days? Here are the players who narrowly missed super two status in 2011 (I'm only counting those currently on the 40-man roster of an MLB team):

These players are now on track to go to arbitration three times and hit free agency after the 2015 season. However, many will be released and non-tendered over the course of the next four seasons.

Some players on this list bounced between the majors and the minors and just happen to have fallen short. Brian Burres, for example, has not been subject to service time manipulation. Others fell short for a reason. It's not a coincidence that McCutchen, Hanson and Beckham debuted within three days of one another in June, 2009. It's not a crime, either. Teams are operating within the collective bargaining agreement when they call players up strategically and service time is never the lone consideration for clubs.

Early in the 2009 season, before Wieters made his MLB debut, I explained why the Orioles might delay his callup until early June. "He won't accumulate more than 126 days service time. This would likely prevent him from becoming a Super Two and would likely save the Orioles millions of dollars in years ahead." As frustrating as it can be for fans to wait while MLB-ready prospects play in the minors, the Orioles weren't going to contend no matter what in 2009 and they are undoubtedly better off paying Wieters $500K than $3MM in 2012.

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5 Comments on "Near Misses For Super Two Status"

No Neck
3 years 10 months ago

I doubt he wouldn’t have made too much, but for a poor-market team like AZ to miss a Super-Two status on Gerardo Parra can make all the difference.  Unfortunately Ryan Roberts was a Super-Two

3 years 10 months ago

I bet the Pirates are insanely relieved that McCutchen missed Super Two. Same with the Braves for Hanson, D’Backs for Kennedy, and the O’s for Wieters. It’ll be saving those teams literally millions of dollars.

3 years 10 months ago

The pirates probably know what McCutchen stood to make if he made Super-Two, and would have rushed a contract to stop it. Now they have more time for it.

You’re right about the D’Backs, because they couldn’t have foreseen that Ian Kennedy  would make the Cy Young shortlist this season.

3 years 10 months ago

“Darnell McDonald, Red Sox, 2.143″

Phew, dodged a bullet there. He stood to make biiiig bucks.

3 years 10 months ago

Brian Burres’ shortcomings encompass a whole lot more than his  MLB service time.