Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada is considering filing a grievance against the Mets over a service time issue. As Passan notes, Tejada was the team’s final call-up in September, earning the promotion on the 10th. They handed out three promotions on the 1st of the month, one on the 7th, and four on the 9th.
As a result, Tejada is one day of service time short of three full years, which would allow him to reach free agency after the 2016 season. Now, however, he becomes eligible for free agency after the 2017 season, but he is hoping to change that with the grievance.
More on the process from Passan:
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.
Should the case go to grievance and Tejada be awarded the extra day, the beneficiary would be Seattle Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush, who would jump into the top 22 percent of players with two-plus years of service time and reach arbitration as a Super 2. With his current service time, Tejada would be a Super 2.
Despite alleged tinkering with service time, the Mets are actively looking for an upgrade over Tejada. In 227 trips to the plate as a Major Leaguer, Tejada mustered a paltry .519 OPS. The Mets “secretly” met with free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta at the GM meetings in Orlando, Florida.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.