Pittsburgh Pirates Service Time and Options for the 2020 Season

With the season officially in the rearview mirror, it’s my favorite time on the baseball calendar—the offseason. That means one of the first items on my personal agenda is updating my spreadsheets with the days of service for every Pittsburgh Pirate remaining in the organization, as well as updating options remaining going into 2021. I thought I’d pass that level of detail on to you, so hopefully you can glean something from it.

Optional Assignments

I covered the details back when the 2020 Operations Manual was released, so I won’t rehash it here, but I’m working off the assumption that all the rules regarding optional assignments stayed the same for 2020. This means that any player that was optioned for 20 or more days burned an option year. The following is a list of players who qualify, along with how many options they each have remaining:

Blake Cederlind (2)

Will Craig (2)

Oneil Cruz (2)

Ke’Bryan Hayes (2)

Cody Ponce (2)

Jason Martin (1)

Tyler Bashlor (0)

Nick Mears (2)

Austin Davis (1)

Brandon Waddell (2)

Here are just a couple individual notes on this topic before we move on:

Both Geoff Hartlieb and Sam Howard started the season on optional assignment, but came up after five and ten days, respectively, so neither used an option. They both project to be pieces of the bullpen in 2021.

José Osuna was only on option for 18 days, so his final option year still remains intact. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was nontendered this offseason instead of going through arbitration for the first time, so that ultimately may not matter to the Pirates.

Nick Tropeano only spent 12 days in the minors after being claimed from the New York Yankees, so he kept his final option year as well; however, I wouldn’t be surprised with a nontender for Tropeano as well, who will be slated for his second go around in arbitration.

Finally, Bashlor appeared to be on option for 20 days exactly, but it depends on how you count the days. While the transaction log states that Bashlor was recalled on 8/17, that was actually an off day, and the Pirates announced the move on the 18th. If you use the 17th, that would mean one less day on option, thus no option used. Personally, I am using the 18th in my count, but will be watching for any official word if and when something comes to light. Again, it wouldn’t surprise me if Bashlor is let go at some point in the offseason—especially if he is out of options—making it a moot point.


I’ve covered this in the past as well, so a basic summary should suffice—service time was calculated differently during this shortened season than it typically is. With only 67 days to officially accrue service, total days are calculated by using the equation (days active * 186)/67, per the March Agreement. While I was unsure for a while about how the uneven quotients would be rounded—and still kind of am—a piece of Jeff Passan reporting on the Mike Clevinger situation from earlier in the season convinced me to round any tenth under .5 down and .5 and above up, as basic mathematics would teach.

I’m including my personal count of service time, as it seems I apply MLB rules on the matter differently than they do. It’s a topic for another day and one that truly mystifies me, but my count is what is in my spreadsheets, so it’s what I’m presenting here. Typically, the difference is just a few days here and there, so it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

Here are the complete lists:

Players who accrued a full year (172 days), along with their career service time to date:

Derek Holland      11.104
Chris Archer         7.156
Gregory Polanco         6.103
Keone Kela         6.000
Michael Feliz         4.168
John Ryan Murphy         4.121
Jameson Taillon         4.109
Luke Maile         4.099
Chad Kuhl         4.078
Adam Frazier         4.073
Joe Musgrove         4.063
Josh Bell         4.052
Trevor Williams         4.027
Erik González         4.007
JT Riddle         3.119
Colin Moran         3.107
Kyle Crick         3.104
Chris Stratton         3.097
Steven Brault         3.082
José Osuna         3.067
Richard Rodríguez         3.017
Nick Burdi         3.000
Jacob Stallings         2.143
Kevin Newman         2.047
Carson Fulmer         2.040
Clay Holmes         2.028
Bryan Reynolds         1.163
Dovydas Neverauskas         1.160
Nik Turley         1.144
Anthony Alford         1.141
Sam Howard         1.117
Phillip Evans         1.109
Geoff Hartlieb         1.091
Cole Tucker         1.079
Kevin Kramer         1.060
Mitch Keller         1.057
JT Brubaker         1.000

Players who accrued a partial year, along with how many days and their career service time to date:

Nick Tropeano 147         4.076
Yacksel Ríos 155         2.016
Andrew Susac 3         2.011
Tyler Bashlor 130         1.131
Austin Davis 108         1.098
Jason Martin 72         0.128
Miguel Del Pozo 47         0.090
Ke’Bryan Hayes 75         0.075
Brandon Waddell 64         0.064
Cody Ponce 47         0.047
Blake Cederlind 36         0.036
Nick Mears 22         0.022
Jared Oliva 19         0.019
Will Craig 8         0.008

I have nothing in particular to point out here, but do take note of all the players between 2.115 (last offseason’s Super Two cutoff) and 5.171 years of service. This is fodder for a future article, but hint…it’s a lot.

In the meantime, keep my personal spreadsheets favorited, where you can find all this information and more. I’ll keep it updated throughout the offseason for everyone to utilize, dissect, and enjoy.