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Salary Arbitration Season Begins in Major League Baseball

Wednesday, December, 3, 2014

Twenty-six professional baseball players in Major League Baseball with less than three years of service have qualified for the league’s salary arbitration process.  Because they have two years of professional play under their belts, these twenty-six athletes are known as “Super 2s.”


The list includes some newly-minted stars, such as New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, pitcher David Phelps with the New York Yankees, and Marwin Gonzalez at Houston.


Major League Baseball carefully calculates the list of “Super 2s” every year by tabulating days of service; a player must have more than 2 years service to qualify for arbitration.  This year the qualifying players with the least amount of service had just 2 years and 133 days under their belts.  This is up from last year’s bottom of the list who had 2 years and 122 days.  Only the top 22% of players with at least 2 but no more than 3 years of service become eligible for arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the Player’s Union.


Several on the list are already signed to extended contracts, making arbitration unnecessary, and some players have clauses in their contracts that give them raises if they miss the arbitration cutoff; for example, Carlos Quintana with the Chicago White Sox sees his salary rise from $850,000 to $3.4 million because the cutoff was less than 134 days.


Arbitration is a process introduced to the MLB in the 1970s when the Player’s Union first challenged the contract system that had ruled the game since the 19th century.