This year’s Super Two cutoff has been placed at two years and 128 days (2.128) of MLB service time, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. That is a slight increase over last year, which landed at 2.116.
During last winter’s lockout and subsequent collective bargaining negotiations, the MLBPA proposed changes to the Super Two system but eventually dropped those by the time the final agreement was reached. That means the Super Two system is the same as it has been in previous seasons.
As a refresher, each player gets one day of service time for each day of the season spent on the active roster or injured list. 172 days counts as a “year,” even though a normal MLB season is 187 days long. That means a player can spend a small amount of time in the minors and still earn a full year of service time.
Each player with between three and six years of MLB service time is eligible for the arbitration process, should he and his team fail to reach an agreement on a salary. Additionally, 22% of the players with between two and three years of MLB service also qualify, with such players being labeled as “Super Two” players. Any player in that window who also spent at least 86 days of the preceding season on the active roster or injured list will be eligible for four passes through the arbitration system instead of the usual three.
Until players reach free agency upon reaching six years of MLB service time, the arbitration system is the primary method of raising their respective salaries. Prior to that, teams can keep salaries at the league minimum, meaning that qualifying for arbitration early is a significant boost for a player’s earning potential. As noted in Blum’s report, the group of those now considered Super Two players includes Daulton Varsho, Randy Arozarena, Tony Gonsolin, and many more.
Here are the Super Two cutoffs of the last decade-plus:
- 2021: 2.116
- 2020: 2.125
- 2019: 2.115
- 2018: 2.134
- 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
For all players eligible for arbitration, if they don’t agree with their respective clubs on a salary by January 13, both parties will exchange proposed salary figures with hearings then taking place between January 30 and February 17. Both sides present their cases to an arbiter, who has to choose one figure or the other, as opposed to deciding on some kind of middle point.