According to CAA Sports, the “Super Two” cutoff for arbitration eligibility in 2013 are players with two years, and 139 days of Major League service time.
According to MLB rules, a player is classified as a “Super Two” and is eligible for salary arbitration who has at least two but less than three years of Major League service if he has at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season, and he ranks in the top 22 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated.
As a result, Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger says Josh Thole is likely to be Super Two eligible this winter, making him arbitration eligible for the first time in his career and will likely receive a raise from the $498,000 he’s making in 2012.
However, McCullough suggests the raise Thole would receive would not be substantial, as he would earn between $750,000-850,000 through the arbitration process.
In 298 at-bats this season, Thole has hit .238 with a .296 on-base percentage and a .292 slugging percentage with one home run and 21 RBI in 96 games.
Thole is 6 for his last 52 with four walks and one extra-base hit, dating back to August 11.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:In terms of dollars, the figure Thole would earn through arbitration is pretty team-friendly for a secondary catcher, as McCulough says. But in terms of value, I really wonder if that is too much for a player of Thole’s caliber. After all, Kelly Shoppach is making $1.35 million this season and he has basically outproduced the entire catching corps in a month of being on the team. With that said, the Mets could conceivably non-tender Thole and look elsewhere altogether. At the very least, the Mets should explore other options before deciding what to do with Thole – they have until November 30 to tender a contract offer to Thole.
At the end of the day, the issue is two fold: The Mets need better offensive (and defensive) production out of the catcher position, but they also need a catching tandem who works well with the pitching staff. Terry Collins has praised Shoppach’s ability to change the approach of the staff (both starters and relievers) by getting them to throw inside more and, in general, the results on the mound have been a lot better lately. It’s not to say Shoppach is the best catcher in baseball – he isn’t by a long shot. But Shoppach is the best catcher on the team right now and is relatively inexpensive – it just goes to show it doesn’t take much to find an upgrade which can solidify the position and make the pitching that much better going forward.
Thole, Mike Nickeas, and Rob Johnson have combined to hit .222 (102-for-459) with 18 doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 38 RBI for the Mets this season.
Since joining the Mets last month, Shoppach has hit .255 with one double, three home runs, and nine RBI in 47 at-bats.