Dodgers News: Star Reliever Barely Qualifies for Big Raise

Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips, their best bullpen arm in 2022, just qualified for Super Two status, earning himself a big raise for 2023.

Coming into 2022, Dodgers pitcher Evan Phillips had been a journeyman who spent four seasons back and forth between the minors and the majors, compiling just one year and 136 days of service time (notated as 1.136) in those four years.

In 2022, Phillips became L.A.’s best and most indispensable reliever, pitching more innings than in his previous four years combined and posting a ridiculous 1.14 ERA. After spending the entire year in the big leagues for the first time, his service time now sits at 2.136 years.

When a player gets to three years of service time, he’s eligible for salary arbitration, meaning a panel of arbitrators decide his salary rather than the team just renewing him at or near the league minimum. But for players between two and three years, there’s still a chance to qualify for arbitration. Among those players, the 22 percent with the most service time qualify as Super Two status and head to arbitration, too.

We found out the Super Two line on Tuesday, and Phillips barely made the cut.

Eight extra days of service time made the difference for Phillips between making about $750,000 next year and instead making $1.4 million, the amount MLB Trade Rumors estimates he will make in arbitration.

Not only will Phillips make about as much in 2023 as he’s made in his entire career combined up to this point, Super Two status also gives him four years of arbitration instead of three, meaning if he can stay healthy and reasonably effective, he will continue to make good money the rest of his career.

Phillips was the best reliever the Dodgers had in 2022. If he can repeat that in 2023, Los Angeles will gladly pay the $1.4 million and still count him as a huge bargain.

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