MLBTR released the projected Super Two cutoff following the 2014 season. Super Two status is awarded to players with more than two, but less than three years of service time. Only the players with the top 22% of service time in that group are Super Two eligible. Any player who is Super Two eligible gets their third league minimum year replaced with an extra year of arbitration. This gives a Super Two player two years of league minimum pay, and four years of arbitration, rather than the usual three and three. The extra year of arbitration can be costly, especially to impact players, which is why teams try to avoid Super Two status.
According to MLBTR, the projected Super Two cutoff is two years and 128 days, which reads as 2.128. This means that anyone with 2.128 years of service time at the end of the 2014 season, but less than three years of service time, would be eligible for arbitration.
Currently the Pirates have no players projected for Super Two status following the 2014 season. But the big focus for Super Two and the Pirates comes with their top prospects.
First, there’s Gerrit Cole, who was called up in the middle of last June, and projects to remain in the majors for good. Cole finished last season with 111 days of service time. If he remains in the majors all year this year, and all year in 2015, he would end the 2015 season with 2.111 years of service time.
We don’t know what the Super Two cutoff will be after the 2015 season. However, the lowest that the cutoff has been in recent years was 2.122 years, which happened in 2013 and 2010. It seems that Cole is safe with his projected 2.111 years of service after the 2015 season.
There’s also the issue of when to call up Gregory Polanco. If we use the 2.122 date as a cutoff for future Super Two years, then teams would be able to start calling their top prospects up on May 31st. That would give those prospects 121 days of service time at the end of the 2014 season, and a projected 2.121 at the end of the 2016 season.
But teams like to play it safe, and call players up a few weeks after the normal Super Two “deadlines” pass. If a team was aiming to call up a player and give them similar service time to what Cole received last year (111 days), then the call up date would be June 10th.
I’m guessing that the Pirates will want to avoid Super Two status with Polanco. That means he probably won’t be in the majors until it’s safe to call him up and avoid Super Two status. As today is April 11th, we’re probably almost exactly two months away from Polanco’s debut in the majors, assuming the Pirates avoid Super Two time with their top prospect.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.