Originally Posted by Billy Hamilton's Legs
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the FA clock determined by the amount of service time on the 25 man roster? by limiting his innings on the ML roster, his FA could be delayed. Homer Bailey is an example, although I don't know how the DL plays into this
Yes, this is true.
I will do my best to explain some things, and if I am off on something please correct me. Yet here is my understanding of arbitration and free agency rules....
Super 2 status does not affect his free agency. It just makes him eligible for arbitration a year sooner. Super 2 is variable, but teams normally wait until June to prevent Super 2 status (I won't go into all the rules about Super 2). Super 2 is not as big of a deal for fans since it's all about money. So the only concern there is the team paying a guy a few million more for 1 year.
For free agency, a full year of service time is 172 days on the active 25 man roster, DL, in the military (yes, that is one of the rules), or under suspension. The season is 182 days. In order to prevent a minor leaguer from gaining a year of MLB service, they simply have to fall short of the 172 days. Yet, if a guy is on the 40 man roster they need to spend 20 days in the minors for that to subtract from their MLB service time. I believe Cingrani was on the 40 man and did not spend 20 days in the minors (it was really, really close), so if he stays on the 25 man for the season it will count as 1 year MLB service time. IIRC, he also cannot be shut down in September (when rosters expand) and sent down in order to subtract from his MLB service time. He needs to spend 20 consecutive days in the minors between April and August in order to reduce his MLB service time by 1 year.
As noted, Cingrani was really close but was called up on the 18th. That may have been enough, I am not sure. I obviously think the clock starts on opening day, but there may be some other things about what constitutes 20 days in the minors I am missing.
Anyway, that is my best understanding of the rules. So from what I know, Cingrani is in danger of accruing 1 year MLB service time unless he is sent down for 20 days before September.