This gives some clarification as well.
How long does he need to stay in the minors as to the Orioles maximizing their control once his clock starts?
He needs to stay down only about two weeks -- so that he's below 175 days in the majors this season -- to delay free agency until after 2015.
Super Two-dom is more of a floating target, but he'd need to stay down for roughly two months to delay arbitration eligibility until after 2012.
As foolish as it is for me to say I'm right and a giant paper like the Baltimore sun is wrong, I think they are.
The MLB rules pretty explicitly say "top 17%" There is nothing anywhere about 175 days. I find it hard to believe that 17% of players called up will be called up in the first two weeks of the season. If we look back at history, we see guys like Lincecum, Hamels, Braun, Bruce, Pence at all get called up soemtime in May and "delay their arbitration" is always an excuse used.
if we assume that the distribution of when most players get called up is pretty even, then we can assume that the cutoff will be around 17% of the way into the season. And that would be a little more than a month into the season. Which is pretty well aligned with the recent history of elite prospects not getting called up until mid-late May.