Kyle Kendrick, Super Two?

Something I realized looking at Cot's Contracts is that Kyle Kendrick is  headed to arbitration this winter as a Super Two, meaning he's in for a not insubstantial raise.

Kendrick opened the year with 1 year and 159 days of MLB service, which is just shy of two years. Now, he's been on the MLB roster all season (with the exception of a weeklong option) and will most likely continue to be so through the end of the year. He already has more than 2.86 years of service and it's a virtual lock he will be in the top 17% of players between 2.86 and 3 years of service (Cot's says the cutoff for this is anywhere from 2.128 to 2.140)

Fangraphs has him as a 4.99 FIP and 4.70 xFIP pitcher this year through 23 starts. He's generated a WAR of 0.6, good for a market-value of $2.3 million. Projecting out to 31 starts, that's a 0.8 WAR and a value of $3.6 million.

Last year's Super Two starters:

Jason Hammel: 3.8 WAR in '09, $1.9M for 2010
Tim Lincecum: 8.2 WAR in '09, 2yrs/$23M extension
Matt Garza: 3.4 WAR in '09, $3.35M for 2010
Dustin Nippert: 1 WAR in '09, $665K for 2010 (started 10 games)
Tom Gorzelanny: 0.7 WAR in '09, $800K for 2010

And some third-year guys:

Ricky Nolasco: 4.2 WAR, $3.8M
Anibal Sanchez: 0.7 WAR, $1.25M
Brian Bannister: 2.8 WAR, $2.3M
Joe Saunders: 1.2 WAR, $3.7M
Chad Billingsley: 3.1 WAR, $3.85M

Not a lot to go on here. Hammel would have been a good comp for Kendrick before he broke out in 09 and sustained it this year. Lincecum and Garza are obviously superior as well. Gorzelanny might be the best comp for Kendrick, but he only started seven games in 2009. Anibal Sanchez and Joe Saunders are reasonable comps as well, but let's pray that Kendrick isn't sniffing Joe Saunders money.

Anyhow, the point is that Kyle Kendrick will no longer be making minimum wage after this year, which, until now, was a large part of his value. He is likely to receive somewhere between $700k and $1.2M in the arbitration-settlement process. This, to my mind, brings up the question:

"With the 2011 payroll already at $143.7 million, and with several holes to fill in the bullpen and a couple on the bench, is it most prudent for the Phils to pay Kendrick his going Super Two rate or non-tender him and hope to replace his production with Vance Worley or J.C. Ramirez at minimum wage?"

The counterpart to this is obviously what you think RAJ will do, which is an entirely different question. I ultimately wouldn't be surprised to see Kendrick get a one year deal north of $1 million.

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