Tyler Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann likely to hit Super Two status

MLBTradeRumors.com reported Thursday night that the cutoff for Super Two eligibility this year will be two years,146 days of service time. That means, as most predicted, the Nationals will have two players who qualify for Super Two status: starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and reliever Tyler Clippard. Those are two high-profile cases, and for the Nationals, they’re likely to be expensive.

Clippard, who made his first All-Star team this year, will head into arbitration after two years of impressive work as a setup man. Given what non-closers have made on the open market, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Clippard wind up with a salary between $2 and $3 million. He was one of the most valuable relievers in baseball in 2011, and his workload (179 1/3 innings the last two years) will help his case.

And Zimmermann, who pitched his first full season this year after Tommy John surgery, reaches arbitration by virtue of his stints on the disabled list in 2009 and 2010. Zimmermann earned service time all of the way through his injury, and he’ll cash in after posting a 3.18 ERA this season. The fact he missed all of 2010 will help keep the price down somewhat, but he also became the Nationals’ best pitcher this season, and he’ll go well north of six figures this winter.

We’re just spitballing on the contract figures here, but it’s safe to say that those two players, coupled with outfielder Michael Morse, will add a payroll bump this winter. The Nationals have a group of impressive homegrown players for the first time since their arrival in Washington, and they’re going to see the side effects of that this winter.