Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What is Super Two Status?

After getting into many heated debates on Twitter and Facebook about this "controversial" topic (mostly about Nick Senzel), I feel it's a necessity to discuss the specifics about what "Super Two" is and what it means for a team like the Reds.

Look, I'm not going to write a diatribe on this subject, because it frankly doesn't require one.  Many fans are confused about the dates for Nick Senzel, what "team control" and "Super Two" really means, and the front office decision to keep him in the minor leagues.  However, I'm not going to go into a vast amount of detail when it comes to the latter part (we'll save it for another discussion about Senzel).

April 13, 2018
An Additional Year of Team Control

Only in Major League Baseball, does it make strategical sense to just simply tank a season, and/or keep a player down in the minor leagues for a further extended period of time to gain an additional year of team control.  Paul Daugherty is right when he calls it "twisted economics."  But, the question that begs and pleads to be answered is this: Do you want to play your best players?

We've seen multiple teams hold down players for that extra year of control.  The Braves did it with Ronald Acuna, and the Cubs did it with Kris Bryant.  But what does this mean for Nick Senzel?

According to the CBA, a player can earn a maximum of 172 days, which equates to 1 year of service time, within any given year.  Anything above and beyond that is simply equal to 1 year of service time.  For example, Player A is on the roster for 175 days, while Player B is on the roster for 169 days.  Player A earns 1 year of service time, while Player B does not. 

The time in which a player can be called up to avoid losing an extra year of player control changes each year based on the schedule.  In 2018, the season ends on September 30th.  To calculate the Super Two Status date, you count backwards 171 days (not games), which for 2018 would mean that the Reds could have called up Nick Senzel on April 13th to give them an additional year of team control.

Now, of course, that date has passed by and Nick Senzel is still absent from this Reds 25-man roster.  So now we're back to the aforementioned question: Do you want to play your best players?  If the answer from the Reds front office is a "Yes," then wouldn't they have gave Senzel the call on April 13th or possibly even a day after?  As you can see, from a Reds' fan perspective, this is where the confusion lies.  Maybe I don't know or understand enough about the game of baseball (although I've played and been involved with the game since the age of 5) to comprehend keeping one of your best young players at Triple A after the date for additional team control?  That, ladies and gentlemen, is where we get into the "Super Two" status.

Super Two Status

The biggest confusion when it comes to the Super Two Status for most people (not all), is that they think it involves team control.  It doesn't, so let me try to elaborate on that.  In the grand scheme of the game of baseball, this "status" is dumbfounding.  Why the MLB accepted such a rule/status in negotiations with the player's union is beyond understanding.  Remember when I mentioned "twisted economics" earlier?  Just wait until we get further into the details, because you'll get it.

Giving you an example or test scenario to explain this will simplify my explanation.  So here were go...

A franchise drafts a player (Joe Schmo) in the Amateur Draft.  Joe Schmo makes his way through the minor league system of the franchise.  Once he is ready to reach the Major Leagues and steps foot on that field, he starts earning time.  By default, when Joe Schmo steps foot onto the field for that franchise, he is under team control for 6 years with 3 of those years being arbitration eligible.  

Let's back track a little bit before proceeding further.  Super Two Status doesn't have a specific date.  According to Steve Mancuso at Redleg Nation, the cutoff dates change every year single year.

Regardless of that, Super Two Status is about money.  All it does, is allow a certain percentage of players (According to the CBA, that's 22%) to get an additional year of arbitration.  Do you remember from earlier where I mentioned that Joe Schmo's franchise gets control of him for 6 total years and 3 of those years being arbitration eligible.  If Joe is a Super Two, the franchise still controls him for 6 years total, but those 3 years of arbitration eligibility gets increased to 4.  

Nick Senzel qualifies, or at least can qualify, as a Super Two Status player.  It appears, and is becoming quite evident, that the Reds front office intends on keeping Senzel at Triple A until he's past that Super Two Status cutoff date, which should be sometime in June.

This Reds team is 7-23 in the 2018 season, which is a .233 winning percentage.  The pitching staff and front office is mocked on a consistent basis by the media across the country.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but I am personally tired of tuning into the MLB Network or ESPN and seeing The Reds featured based on how bad they are.

The Reds are to a point right now, where they are so far behind when it comes to wins and losses, that they may never be able to recover in the 2018 season.  This is, again, where confusion starts to grab and pollute my mind.  Should we at least try?  Should we at least bring Senzel up and see what he can do being in this lineup every single day?  They've had two different chances to bring him up - When Eugenio Suarez when down for 3 weeks with a broken finger, and now with Scooter Gennett being injured.  Would it be worth putting Scotter Gennett on the 10-day DL, bringing up Senzel, and seeing what he can do on a regular basis? 

If you want to win, you explore each and every avenue.  With a lazy off season, not securing a solid veteran starting pitcher to help solidify the rotation, not trading Billy Hamilton and/or Adam Duvall, and being very reluctant to call up the #7 prospect in all of baseball, I'm curious why any Reds fan would be convinced that this front office and ownership are serious about winning.  They've either lied to all of us, or they are very inept at their jobs.

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