Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Super Two" Confusion

From Dylan Hernandez at The Fabulous Forum:

The two-year deal Matt Kemp recently signed with the Dodgers could be worth as much as $11.25 million.

Kemp is slated to earn $4 million this year and $6.95 million next season. His 2011 base salary can increase by as much as $300,000 if he hits certain benchmarks for plate appearances in 2010.

If Kemp makes 600 plate appearances this year, he would increase his salary next year by $50,000. If he makes 650, he would earn another $100,000, and if he makes 675, yet another $150,000.

And from Ken Gurnick's Twitter feed:

Andre Ethier's two-year deal with the Dodgers is for a base guarantee of $15.25 million plus incentives.

Ethier's base salary for the next two years is worth $4.3 million more than Kemp's. However, Ethier is a "Super Two" player, meaning "He's ahead of Kemp on the salary arbitration curve," as Jon Weisman puts it. (Remember, Ethier was eligible for arbitration last year.)

Even though some may argue Kemp is the better all-around player, Ethier benefits from being a more experienced player (and socking a lot of dingers). At least this is how I'm reading it. Someone please correct me if I'm totally off base (hey, a baseball reference!).

UPDATE: Some nifty analysis from Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:

It is a bit weird since Ethier was a Super Two, so he gets 4 years of arb instead of 3, but he’s still behind Markakis in terms of service time. The $17m for Markakis was for his 5th & 6th years (his final two arb years), whereas Ethier technically is getting paid for his 4th & 5th years, although it’s really in between (his 4.5 and 5.5 years, if you will). So Ethier is almost jumping a half a service class up with his deal.