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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.