Tim Dierkes of the site MLB Trade Rumors confirmed last night that the Super Two cutoff for arbitration eligibility in 2017 is 2.131.
Translation: Players with at least two years and 131 days qualify for an extra year of arbitration.
By contract, major league players are under team control for six years of service time. The first three of those they work for whatever the team wants to pay them, a figure bounded only by the league minimum salary established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association. The minimum salary has been about $508,000 recently. After those three seasons, players have the right to arbitrate their salary if they aren’t satisfied with the team offer. (You can read more detail about service time and arbitration clocks here.)
A few players at the upper end of the range between two and three seasons of service time, qualify for what’s called Super Two status and are eligible for arbitration instead of league minimum. The Super Two cut-off point varies each year based on the number of players at each level of service time. The top 22 percent in terms of service time qualify for ST. So the cut-off can be determined only after regular season service time has finished accruing league wide.
The one Reds player who might have reached Super Two status in 2017 is pitcher Dan Straily, who had accumulated 2 years and 126 days of service time. Since Straily’s service time ended up falling just short of the cut-off, he can’t elect arbitration and will earn what the team wants to pay him, presumably league minimum. That saves the Reds several million dollars in 2017. One estimate had Straily’s arbitration-aided salary at $3.9 million.
The only Reds players eligible for arbitration in 2017 are: Zack Cozart (3rd year), Blake Wood (2nd year), Tony Cingrani (1st year) and Billy Hamilton (1st year). Most of the Reds roster will be made up of players earning league minimum.