Saunders just misses Super Two contract status

The “Super Two” process can be a confusing issue, but suffice it to say, Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders wound up in a tough-luck situation Tuesday when MLB announced its status of Super Two arbitratation eligible players this offseason.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the top 22 percent of players between two and three years of service time get to enter the arbitration process a year earlier than the normal three-year time span.

The Associated Press reported that calculation was announced Tuesday at 2 years, plus 139 days, which allowed 26 players to be moved into salary arbitration early.

As for Saunders? He missed the cutoff by one day.

That means Saunders will remain at the Major League minimum next year, which puts him around $490,000, rather than being eligible to see what he could get in arbitration. Like the rest of MLB’s players with three or less years of service time, he’ll become arbitration eligible next season and be in that process another three years before becoming a free agent.

How much did that one day cost Saunders? Hard telling. But last year, reliever Shawn Kelley earned Super Two status and he signed for $600,000 while coming off a season in which he’d only just returned to full strength in the final month following Tommy John surgery.

Saunders was coming off a nice breakthrough season as the Mariners starting center fielder, so it’s reasonable to assume he’d have been able to cash in a little north of Kelley’s deal. estimated that Saunders could have signed for $1.6 million if he’d become arbitration eligible this offseason.


That stinks for Saunders but I’m okay with the Mariners still having three years of arbitration to keep him around, especially if he continues to develop into a solid outfielder.

Actually, a “Super Two” player would get four arbitration years, instead of three. Teams still control the player the same amount of years.

That is correct, Kacey. But as I said in the blog post, he won’t be a Super Two, he’ll just be on the normal arbitration process after next season, which will be the first of three years of arbitration eligibility for him.

Tough break for Saundy. I will look forward to him breaking out big next season if the M’s give him a chance in LF or RF. Maybe he even pushes the FO to deal Guti sometime before the trade deadline next year.

Well this is very unfortunate indeed. Saunders misses out and ONLY gets to make a paltry 490,000 dollars next year for playing a game. Poor guy hopefully he can pay his electric bills up in BC.

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