I was unfortunate enough to have caught some disturbing conversation on local sports talk radio the other day. The discussion involved whether the Rays should start Wil Myers in Durham or in St Petersburg to begin the season. Rational people can disagree on this, but the “expert” on the radio lacked the basic facts to even put forth a reasonable argument.
It is, actually, quite simple. The Rays should send Myers to Durham, then call him back up on April 12th. He would only miss 9 games. By doing this, the Rays would be able to keep control of Wil Myers for seven seasons, as opposed to six. The MLB season is approximately 183 days long, but a player must be active on the 25 man roster for 172 days in order to register a complete season. This is a no brainer as it relates to Wil Myers.
At a minimum, Myers will begin the season in Durham so the Rays can gain that extra year of control. The real question becomes, will the Rays wait to call him up so he avoids “Super 2″ status. The top 22% of players with between two and three years of MLB service qualify for an extra year of arbitration. David Price was a super 2 player, and if Myers becomes one, it could cost the Rays many millions of dollars.
In 2012, the cutoff date for Super 2 status was 2 years and 139 days. If the same number applies this season (it could vary by a couple days), then May 15th would be the cutoff date. Depending on Myers progress at AAA, and the performance at the Big League level of whoever is taking his roster spot, the Rays will have to decide if they can wait until mid May. But you can take it to the bank he will spend the first two weeks of the season in Durham.
UPDATE: An earlier version of article listed a date in August as Super 2 cutoff.