One of the topics that hasn’t been discussed as much these days is service time manipulation by MLB teams.
Because of Super Two rules, teams can gain an extra year of service time on a specific player if it waits some time to call him up, usually a few weeks.
Players, of course, don’t want this, because it delays free agency for them.
One of the things the union is fighting for in the ongoing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) discussions is punishing teams who incur in service time manipulation.
The league, instead, wants to reward the clubs that don’t do it.
The Union’s Latest Proposal On Service Time Manipulation
The talks have evolved to the point that the Players Association proposed something along those lines on Friday.
“Rookies still can receive a full-year of major-league service time if they finish among the top 5 in Rookie of Year voting or top 3 in the Rivera/Hoffman voting, as well as finish 1st or 2nd on the All-MLB team, in the union’s proposal,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported.
Rookies still can receive a full-year of major-league service time if they finish among the top 5 in Rookie of Year voting or top 3 in the Rivera/Hoffman voting, as well as finish 1st or 2nd on the All-MLB team, in the union's proposal.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 24, 2022
The talented rookies, those with the necessary skills to finish in the top five of the Rookie of the Year award and the other recognitions, are the most likely to have their service time manipulated by teams.
Service time manipulation is particularly hated by players because they already consider six years a very long time until reaching free agency.
It’s not clear whether the league considered the proposal as something they could accept or not.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the league and the Players Association are expected to meet over the weekend, with Monday’s deadline looming.
If there is no deal by Monday, regular season games could be lost.