With the season officially in the rearview mirror, it’s now 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 2022. I thought I’d pass that level of detail on to you, so hopefully you can glean something from it.
For the uninitiated, any player that was optioned for 20 or more days—in total, not necessarily consecutive—by rule use an option year. The following is a list of players who used an option year in 2021, along with how many options they each have remaining:
Rodolfo Castro – 2
Michael Chavis – 1
Roansy Contreras – 2
Wil Crowe – 1
Oneil Cruz – 1
Enyel De Los Santos – 0
Phillip Evans – 1
Kyle Keller – 0
Mitch Keller – 1
Max Kranick – 2
Tucupita Marcano – 2
Nick Mears – 1
Jared Oliva – 2
Dillon Peters – 1
Cody Ponce – 1
Shea Spitzbarth – 2
Cole Tucker – 1
Bryse Wilson – 0
Miguel Yajure – 1
Here are just a couple of individual notes on this topic before we move on:
Taylor Davis (6 days), Connor Overton (4 days), and Hoy Park (8 days) all spent less than 20 days on optional assignment. Therefore, by rule, those days will count as Major League service time and no option was used for 2021.
Tyler Bashlor (4 days) was also on option for fewer than 20 days; however, he was designated for assignment and never reacquired, so his days do not count as Major League service.
Ben Gamel, who was on option when designated for assignment by Cleveland, only ended up in the minors for 19 days before his designation. He was actually designated on Day 19, which by rule counts as the final day on option. So, instead of using his final option and accruing less than a full year of service, his option goes unused and he gets a full year of service. Having now eclipsed 5.000 years of service, he would now have to consent to his assignment in order to be optioned.
Players like Wilmer Difo, Erik González, and Hunter Owen who were assigned outright do not use options—or even need options remaining in order to be assigned, in the case of González and Difo. The only way a player uses an option when outrighted is if they have options remaining and are reacquired after 20 days. This was the case for Jacob Stallings in 2016.
I’m including my personal count of service time here, 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:
|Duane Underwood Jr.||2.044|
Players who accrued a partial year, along with how many days and their career service time to date:
|Chase De Jong||127||1.067|
|Enyel De Los Santos||105||1.006|
Just a few notes to make here as well:
As you can see, Chasen Shreve didn’t accrue a full year of service and stands just short of the necessary 6.000 years to reach free agency. For a while, many outlets were assuming Shreve would be a free agent, as he started the year with more than 5.000 years of service. Since his contract was selected after the season started, Shreve didn’t accrue enough days to pass 6.000 years, and Ben Cherington recently confirmed what I knew all along—Shreve will be arbitration eligible this offseason, not a free agent.
At 2.113 years of service, Sam Howard is close to the lowest Super Two cutoff from the last five offseasons (2.115). That was a big outlier though, and it’s very unlikely he reaches Super Two eligibility.
On the other hand, Bryan Reynolds will most certainly qualify for his first of four years of arbitration—if the club doesn’t extend him, that it is.
While the team didn’t gain a year of contractual control on any of these players, all three of Anthony Alford, Michael Chavis, and Bryse Wilson didn’t accrue enough service to stay on track for Super Two status, so they would be pre-arbitration players in 2022.
In contrast, while the Pirates gained an extra year of contractual control on Kyle Keller, Dillon Peters, and Cole Tucker, it would be in exchange for an extra year of arbitration at the current rate.
Finally, going into the offseason, the arbitration class stands at 11; however, I wouldn’t anticipate it being that high when contracts eventually get tendered.
As always, 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.