A report Sunday night from Yahoo! Sports says that Ruben Tejada is considering filing a grievance against the Mets for purposely keeping him in the minor leagues to delay his free agency by a year.
The Mets recalled Tejada on September 10, leaving him with a total major league service time of two years and 171 days. A complete year of major league service is 172 days. So if Tejada is on the major league roster for the next three complete years, he will fall one day short of free agency.
His recall date is significant because Las Vegas lost its final playoff game on September 7. Several players were brought up on September 9, yet Tejada’s recall was delayed by a day for some reason. In late August the Mets said they would recall Tejada once the Las Vegas season was done, and Terry Collins even said Tejada would “play quite a bit.”
Ruben Tejada spent more than three months in the minors in 2013. He first went down on a rehab assignment, but when it was done, he was kept there. The demotion was warranted — Tejada was hitting .209 when he strained his quad and was one of the biggest disappointments on the Mets this season.
If Tejada does file a grievance, it would be up to an arbitrator whether to award Tejada his extra day. Whatever happens, if is questionable whether Ruben Tejada will even be on the Mets in 2014, not to mention when he becomes a free agent after the 2016 or 2017 seasons, depending on any ruling.
Tejada has enough service time to qualify as a Super-Two, so he will be eligible for arbitration this off-season.