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Lewis, Perez qualify for Super Two status

Tribe's Lewis, Perez qualify for Super Two status

CLEVELAND -- While the Indians are once again not expected to spend much in free agency this winter, they will have to dole out significant money for some internal raises.

Left-hander Rafael Perez is eligible for arbitration for the second year, and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and right-hander Joe Smith are eligible for the first.

Additionally, the Indians have two players who have officially qualified for arbitration eligibility by Super Two status -- closer Chris Perez and right-hander Jensen Lewis.

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What's notable about the Super Two guys is they now qualify for four years of arbitration eligibility instead of the usual three. Super Two status is attained by service time, not performance. Perez and Lewis were among the top 17 percent of players, in terms of Major League service time, who were between two and three years of service.

Perez has two years, 136 days of service, while Lewis is at two years, 133 days. Left-hander Aaron Laffey just missed this year's Super Two cutoff of two years, 122 days, by a mere seven days.

The Super Two situation for Perez means a big bump from the $423,800 he made in 2010. Just for comparison's sake, Rafael Perez went from $436,300 to $795,000 in his first arbitration-eligibile year last offseason. Chris Perez's raise will probably be even higher, considering his 23 saves this season.

As for what this means for Lewis, that's a little less clear. The Indians took full advantage of his final Minor League option year, sending him to Triple-A Columbus several times in 2010. He was not considered a primary setup option by manager Manny Acta, so it remains to be seen whether the Indians deem him worthy of a raise.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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