Quick Hitter: Will the Mets leave d’Arnaud down longer to save money?

d'arnaud3By now you’ve heard that Travis d’Arnaud has been tearing it up in Las Vegas since his demotion. His line in nine games is rather impressive: .395/.452/.868 with five home runs.

The chatter has already begun as to whether or not the Mets should recall d’Arnaud and place him back in the lineup, as it certainly seems as if a fire has been lit underneath him.

But there are a few arguments against the promotion of d’Arnaud. One is a rather obvious one – a small sample size in a hitter-friendly league is not really the best indication of any kind of actual improvement in his game.

Another has to do with d’Arnaud possibly not being ready for the bright lights of New York City, and says that allowing him to rake in Vegas for an extended period of time would boost his confidence to a level where upon his return, he will be better prepared for success. After all, before this season, he had only played 86 games at the AAA level owing to injuries.

Then there’s this, from ESPN’s Adam Rubin:

“If d’Arnaud spends fewer than 20 days in the minors this season, the option the Mets used to demote him is rescinded, and can be used in a future year if need be. The Mets would like to retain that option if practical, so look for d’Arnaud to return no later than June 27.”

Holding d’Arnaud down despite his success until June 27th would be a wise business decision by the Mets front office, but is it really ethical? It is in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that the MLBPA agreed to, but was this really the intention of the rule? To allow clubs to retain extra control over their players by holding them in the minor leagues for longer than they really deserve?

There are legitimate reasons to keep d’Arnaud down for a longer period, but to pinch pennies is not one of them. If d’Arnaud is recalled on June 27th, we know the reason. And shame on the Mets if that’s the case.

Editor’s Note – An earlier version of this story was screwing up our formatting and had to be taken down. There were some comments lost in the process. I apologize for the loss of reader feedback.

7 comments for “Quick Hitter: Will the Mets leave d’Arnaud down longer to save money?

  1. June 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I thought options were unlimited in the first few years and completely disappeared after that.

    • June 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Everyone gets 3 option years (in some cases players become eligible for a 4th, but that’ll just muddy the waters right now). Within a single season, a player can be optioned up and down as much as needed & it only burns one option year. An option is used when a player on the 40-man roster is sent to AAA. After a player has accrued 5 years of MLB service time, he can only be optioned to the minors with his permission (like Steve Trachsel a few… okay more than a few… years ago). David Wright, for instance, still has all of his options. The Mets can’t send him down without his permission, though, since he has the requisite service time. If a guy spends less than 20 total days on optional assignment to the minors in one season, that option year gets erased like it never happened.

  2. June 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    “Holding d’Arnaud down despite his success until June 27th would be a wise business decision by the Mets front office, but is it really ethical?”

    What’s wise about this from a business sense? If they recall him on the 27th, they keep the option. If they recall him now, or any time before the 27th they keep the option too. And whether they recall him now or by the 27th, he’ll be credited with a full year of MLB service time.

    “There are legitimate reasons to keep d’Arnaud down for a longer period, but to pinch pennies is not one of them. If d’Arnaud is recalled on June 27th, we know the reason.”

    Again, keeping him down until the 27th vs. recalling him now doesn’t change the Mets’ financial outlay, it doesn’t change d’Arnaud’s service time, and it doesn’t change d’Arnaud’s future options status. How is that pinching pennies?

    • Joe Vasile
      June 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I believe I read that it effects his Super Two status.

      • Name
        June 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm

        I don’t believe you fully understood what Adam Rubin was saying. Option years have nothing to do with money.

        If the Mets call him up before 20 days, the Mets get to keep an option year, which means that they would be able to option him down next year if needed. If the mets wait untli after 20 days, then they will not have this option.
        So the incentive is actually to promote him within 20 days, not keep him down longer.

        Sure , more flexibitlity is always nice, but it’s a double edge sword. If you think he might need to be sent down next year, it means that he isn’t the long term answer anyways.

        Worrying about Super 2 or option status at this point is getting ahead of ourselves. Neither of those things matter if he can’t hit at the MLB level.

      • June 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

        Super 2 is a non-issue for d’Arnaud. He earned 44 days of service time last year. That’ll beat the Super 2 cutoff by a good 70-90 days when he’s in that 2-3 years of service range. He will not qualify for Super 2 unless he spends enough time in AAA (this year or next year, if he doesn’t burn his last option this year) to push his FA eligibility out a year, in which case, he’ll have pushed his FA eligibility out a year.

  3. Jerry Grote
    June 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    My comments were lost in the re-formatting of the piece, and they speak to the broader issue of “penny-pinching”.

    Since when is being concerned with the bottom line a bad thing? Why should “shame” be heaped upon the Front Office for manipulating the calendar?

    To me the very premise of the article seems way off base. The Mets should maximize their assets. I’m sure we’d all prefer if the assets didn’t need to be sent to AAA to make themselves feel like baseball players, but that’s completely besides the point the author is making.

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