11/11/09 8:01 PM EST
Fontenot awarded 'Super Two' status
Cubs infielder lands final spot to file for arbitration
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Fontenot had 2 years, 139 days of service time to tie Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Reds pitcher Micah Owings but won the tiebreaker for "Super Two" status because he had more service time last season.
D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds, who hit 44 homers and had 102 RBIs last season, had 2 years, 138 days of service and won't go to arbitration, meaning Arizona figures to save millions of dollars next year.
Fontenot was able to get the last spot as part of the rules laid out in the 1990 labor agreement that stipulate that the top 17 percent of players with at least two and less than three years of service time are eligible for arbitration along with players with at least three years but less than six years of service.
Players such as Fontenot earn Super Two status and get an early start on arbitration, which can bring hefty raises. Other Super Twos include Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, Rays pitcher Matt Garza, Cubs pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, Royals third baseman Alex Gordon, Orioles pitcher Matt Albers, Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens, Astros outfielder Hunter Pence, Rangers pitcher Dustin Nippert and newly acquired Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Those players can file for arbitration in mid-January and those who don't settle go to hearings the following month, with three-arbitrator panels selecting the salary proposed by either the player or club.
Clubs may unilaterally set the salaries of players who don't have enough service time to be in arbitration, such as Jones, Owings and Reynolds, provided the salary is at least the Major League minimum of $400,000 and complies with rules limiting the amount of pay cuts.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.