Belt, Britton Face Different Cutoff Dates

A week ago I wrote that a player's free agency could be delayed a year by calling him up on April 11th or later, making it impossible for him to accrue more than 171 days of service time.  It turns out that I was only partially correct.

The April 11th date only applies if the player is not on the 40-man roster right now.  For example, Brandon Belt could be promoted by the Giants on April 11th or later and his free agency would be delayed until after the 2017 season, because he is not currently on the 40-man.  One related note – if he was called up exactly on that date, and thus fell one day short of the 172 needed for a year of service, his agent would probably file a grievance.  There's also the possibility of a one-game playoff allowing him to pick up that extra day of service time anyway.  So it makes sense to leave a little space.

What about a player who is on the 40-man roster, such as the Orioles' Zach Britton?  In that case, the player needs to be optioned to start the season and spend at least 20 days on optional assignment in order to not get the service time back.  So a 40-man roster player can earn either 162 or fewer days of service, or a full year.  The Orioles will have to wait until April 21st or later with Britton, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun indicated today.

12 Responses to Belt, Britton Face Different Cutoff Dates Leave a Reply

  1. baseball1 4 years ago

    I cannot wait to see these two tear up the league. Both are immensely talented!

  2. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    a cutoff date sounds way scarier than it is

  3. Why wasn’t Belt taken on the rule 5 draft? Was he eligible to be taken? My understanding is that if you aren’t on the 40 man you’re fair game.

    • Amish_willy 4 years ago

      The Rule 5 draft was a non consideration since he was only drafted in ’09. He would have had to been drafted two years prior and not be on the 40-man to have been eligible.

  4. Bucs 4 years ago

    Why wasn’t Belt taken on the rule 5 draft? Was he eligible to be taken? My understanding is that if you aren’t on the 40 man you’re fair game.

    • rainyperez 4 years ago

      He’s protected from the draft for two or three years I believe…

      • Lastings 4 years ago

        If you are not put on the 40 man after five years within an organization than you are subject to the Rule 5.

  5. saw belt a ton last year in Richmond, he killed it…triples machine

    • rainyperez 4 years ago

      Triples machine in AA Richmond’s Park means great power hitter in the making.

  6. ^true story. 330 to left and right and 402 to center at The Diamond…339 to left, 309 to right and 399 to center at AT&T

    • Sec208LovesBarry 4 years ago

      Triples Alley at 421 has Belt’s name written all over it

  7. ejr 4 years ago

    the variety of rules regarding options & service time always leaves me a bit befuddled. thanks for clearing this up!

    Belt has been on my fantasy baseball radar so I hope he does get a chance sooner rather than later. Depends on how creaky old Burrell starts the season.

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