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Super Two eligibility set at earliest point in a decade

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MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Super Two cutoff has been set at two years and 115 days of service time. It’s the lowest the threshold has been set in a decade.

Super Two eligibility is a salary arbitration concept. All players who have zero to two years of service time are not arbitration eligible and thus have their salaries unilaterally set by their teams. All players with three years or more of service time — but who have not yet reached the six years required to become unrestricted free agents — are eligible for arbitration. By having one’s salary set via arbitration, their past performance is taken into account and they can begin to make some real money.

A small handful of players who have more than two years but less than three years of service time are considered Super Two players, and they are included with the 3+ players and get to go through arbitration. They go through up to four times instead of the typical three. That small handful of Super Two players consists of the guys who finished the previous year in the top 22 percent of service time among players with two to three years of service time. Depending on when that top 22 percent was initially called up, the exact level of service time to reach Super Two eligibility floats. Sometimes by as much as a couple of weeks one way or the other.

This year’s formula has it set at two years and 115 days. If you served that much or more, you’re a Super Two. If you served less, sorry, wait until next year. As MLB Trade Rumors notes, the luckiest duck in that crowd is Milwaukee Brewers’ reliever Josh Hader, who has exactly two years and 115 days under his belt. In the just-missed-it club: Arizona’s Luke Weaver, with two years 112 says, and Oakland’s Matt Chapman at two years, 109 days.

Given that Hader has been one of the best relievers in all of baseball over those two years and 115 days, he stands an excellent chance to make a good deal of money in arbitration. So, go get that money, Josh.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.