Infielder Ruben Tejada may file a grievance against the New York Mets for manipulating his service time, according to Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports.
The Mets called up other minor leaguers from their AAA affiliate in Las Vegas before and after they were eliminated from the playoffs in the Pacific Coast League on September 7th, but waited until the 9th to call up Tejada.
So why does this matter?
It may keep Tejada from becoming a free agent after the 2016 season, which is explained in an excerpt from the report:
Should Tejada follow through with a grievance, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz – currently overseeing the Alex Rodriguez case – would decide whether the Mets were within their rights to leave Tejada with two years, 171 days of service time. A full season of service time is considered 172 days. While the actual baseball season is 183 days, players can accrue a maximum of 172 in a season, leaving Tejada one day short of three full years.
The consequences for him could be significant. If Tejada remains on a major league roster for at least 172 days in 2014, 2015 and 2016, he would end up with five years, 171 days – one day shy of free agency, which he would not receive until after the 2017 season.
While teams waiting to call players up to save service time is certainly nothing new, if the Mets did indeed cost Tejada another full year by waiting a day then the grievance is warranted, and altogether not a practice a team wants to be known for.