Blake Wood will receive four years of salary arbitration as a Super Two player.
Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement made a slight change to the rule about classifying players for Super Two status. To review, teams retain control of a player for six years of service time, but can play with callup times to get most of seven seasons out of a player (since one year in the CBA is considered to be 172 days and the MLB season usually runs about 180 or so). In order to prevent teams from taking advantage of this extra season, players with more than two years of service time but less than three can be considered eligible for Super Two status (and thus earn an extra year of arbitration, for a total of four), if they rank in the top 22% of those players in the 2-3 year category (previously, 17% was the mark).
In other words, Blake Wood debuted on May 12, 2010 and accumulated two years and 145 days of service time. According to an Associate Press story, the new cutoff for Super Two status in 2012 is two years and 139 days, so Wood qualifies under the new system.
Wood is currently starting a rehab program after Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2012 and made only four appearances in spring training before being shut down. MLBTradeRumors.com projects his 2013 salary at $600,000, a $98,000 raise.
More interesting, though, is how the Super Two number turned out in the new system. Under the old CBA, players with two years and 144 days of service time would have been eligible for Super Two status. Five days was the only difference.
There was much discussion about the potential of calling up Wil Myers in 2012 and a big part of the discussion was that the Royals were waiting and waiting to avoid Super Two status. With the first run of the new Super Two rules out of the way, it throws that narrative away. Many thought he would be called up in August with the idea that calling him up any time sooner would put him in the Super Two category. Really, it would have been a difference of a week.
Granted, it’s difficult to project where the cutoff will be. The number of days in a baseball season is different almost every year, and since the Super Two is calculated by a group of players that will vary from year to year, it’s relative to that group instead of a standard cutoff. Basically, until that group of players is getting to the end of that third season, it’s just tough to tell who’ll land in that top 22%. Some players might look like they’re on the way to Super Two status, but then they get sent down and it keeps them out instead.
What we can look at now is who might end up eligible in the future. In 2011, Eric Hosmer accumulated 145 days of service time. In 2012, he accumulated 180 for a total of one year 153 days. The 2013 season will last 182 days from March 31 to September 29, so Hosmer should land around two years and 163 days after next season. He’ll definitely qualify for Super Two status (assuming he turns it around and doesn’t get sent to Triple A). Danny Duffy debuted on May 18, 2011 and accumulated 134 days of service time (though I think that should be revised to 123 since he was optioned to Triple A over the All-Star break in 2011). He could be right at the cutoff. Mike Moustakas had 111 days of service time after 2011. He should fall short.
That factors into the Royals outlook for the future, as they can prepare for Hosmer having four years of arbitration, but Moustakas only having three.
If we want to predict a potential Wil Myers call up date in 2013 that would avoid Super Two status, we can give that a shot. The Royals could wait eleven days to call him up and get a full six seasons on top of the rest of 2013 from him. That timeframe would end up with him solidly in Super Two territory. To avoid that, the Royals would probably have to wait around 65 days to bring him up giving him 117 days of service time in 2013, plus around 180 days in 2014 and another 180 in 2015. It depends on the MLB schedule but that kind of plan could give Myers about two years and 133 days of service time (estimated), which would have kept him out of the danger zone by this year’s results.
That would mean a callup around June 4.
There’s no conclusive way to calculate, but that’s at least a guess.