Oh good, just what the Mets need … more positive publicity. More proof that the club is a model organization is coming to light. Of course, what kind of model is up for debate. In this latest episode of "How Not To Win Friends And Influence Employees", the New York Mets have pissed off shortstop Ruben Tejada to the point where he's going to file a grievance against the club. For what, you might ask? I'll let the actual journalist … Yahoo's Jeff Passan … explain:
Infielder Ruben Tejada is considering filing a grievance against the New York Mets, accusing the team of shortchanging him one day of service time that would have allowed him to become a free agent after the 2016 season instead of 2017, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports. (…) On Sept. 1, the Mets summoned relievers Vic Black and Tim Byrdak and utilityman Zach Lutz from Las Vegas. On Sept. 7, they brought up reliever Sean Henn. Las Vegas lost its final game that day. On Sept. 9, outfielder Mike Baxter, starter Aaron Harang, catcher Juan Centeno and reliever Greg Burke arrived. One day after that, the Mets finally recalled Tejada. He was their last September call-up.
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.
So the Mets are going to be embroiled in a fight to try to keep one extra season of control of a guy who hit .202 last season? Yup, sounds about right.
This grievance only ends up in a positive if it's decided by a cage match between Tejada's agent and Saul Katz. No disqualification, chairs under the ring, and special guest referee Charlie Furbush (who will probably be using those chairs across Saul Katz's back before the match is over so that he could get his own Super Two status out of this ruling).
And you have to climb the cage and grab the suitcase full of money to win the hearing. But it's the Mets, so the suitcase won't actually have money in it. Just a can of tuna fish and photocopies of Bobby Bonilla's contract. And in the back of the arena, Jeff Wilpon evil laughs through his twirly mustache.