When the Diamondbacks sent starter Jon Garland to the Dodgers late last month, they expected to receive infielder Tony Abreu in return. In addition to his gaudy minor league stats, Abreu appealed to Arizona because he still had two more pre-arbitration years ahead of him and five years total before he became a free agent.
However, as Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports, the team had no way of knowing that Abreu and the Dodgers were close to reaching an agreement to settle a grievance filed in 2007. As a result of the settlement, Abreu may be awarded additional service time that may make him arbitration eligible in 2011 instead of 2012. The D-Backs believe LA did not act in good faith during negotiations.
The grievance came after Abreu was optioned to the minors in July 2007, and he claimed he should have instead been placed on the disabled list with an abdominal injury. As you know from our service time primer, a player can accrue service time while on the DL but not while in the minors. Abreu would pick up 47 additional days of service time thanks to the grievance, which would likely make him a "Super Two."
As Piecoro explains, it's unclear what action the D-Backs will take at this point, but teams can file grievances with MLB over disputed trades. They could ask to amend the original list of players the two teams agreed upon to complete the deal, or they could ask for the Dodgers to kick in some cash to cover Abreu's increased salary.
No wonder why they always say abdominal injuries will linger if they aren't taken care of properly.