Some Super Twos in line for big raises
Earlier cutoff date offers arbitration to players like Bruce, O'Day
It's getting to be that time of year when organizations have to make some salary decisions looking ahead to 2011, and for some players, the Super Twos, it could be a bigger payday than anticipated.
Twenty players, including names such as Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick, have acquired enough service time -- two years and 122 days -- to qualify as Super Two players this year. This group will be arbitration-eligible for four years, beginning this offseason, instead of the normal three. Generally, being eligible for arbitration will net these players a significant raise, whether a contract is reached before or through the process of arbitration.
The service time cutoff for Super Two is determined by the Major League Baseball Players Association each season, equating to the senior 17 percent of players who have accrued between two and three years of service time and at least 86 days of service in the just-completed season. This year's cutoff is significantly lower than most years, down from the two-year, 139-day threshold last season. As a result, several players who wouldn't have qualified last season, including Bruce and Texas reliever Darren O'Day, will get an extra year of arbitration and most likely a raise.
Achieving Super Two status can help players between their second and third year of service monetarily, but doesn't affect their service clock, meaning the players still have to wait six years before becoming a free agent.
The actual result on the individual salaries, of course, will vary from player to player. The bump to Super Two status is more likely to help players like Bruce, who turned in a strong season, batting .281 with 25 homers, than for instance a player like Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, who struggled all season with injuries.
Other names on the list include Indians closer Chris Perez, who stepped in after Kerry Wood's midseason departure, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, he of the near-perfect game, and Rockies infielder Ian Stewart. Perez could benefit from the bump after closing out 23 games for the Indians, with a 1.71 ERA.
One big name, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, qualifies as a Super Two, but doesn't stand to benefit as the American League East champs locked him up with a long-term deal.
Below is a complete list of the players who have qualified as Super Twos:
Burke Badenhop, Florida
Travis Buck, Oakland
Dana Eveland, Pittsburgh
Josh Fields, Kansas City
Alberto Gonzalez, Washington
Chase Headley, San Diego
Luke Hochevar, Kansas City
Jim Johnson, Baltimore
Jensen Lewis, Cleveland
Longoria, Tampa Bay
Felipe Paulino, Houston
Sean White, Seattle
Brad Ziegler, Oakland
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.