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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Alford finally got called up, Dalton Pompey didn’t

It’s been two weeks after the Buffalo Bisons season ended and Anthony Alford was just placed on the Blue Jays’ roster today. Still hanging around in limbo, though, is Dalton Pompey, the only player currently on the 40-man roster who wasn’t added when the rosters expanded in September.

The Alford situation comes down to money and stopping him from becoming a Super 2 player and qualifying for arbitration. Shi Davidi broke it down today over at Sportsnet… 

Typically, players require three full years of service time (172 days on the 25-man roster equals a full year) to qualify for arbitration, the process through which they escalate their earnings prior to free agency. But under the collective bargaining, the top 22 per cent of players between two and three years of service time qualify for arbitration a year early as a Super Two.

Alford earned 68 days of service time last year and earlier this year picked up 24 when he opened the season on the disabled list, and then nine more during a brief call-up in May, pushing his total to 101.

Had he been active all of September, he would have finished the year at 131 days, which could have opened the possibility of him becoming a Super Two player down the road if he breaks camp with the Blue Jays next year or is recalled early in April and sticks.

If he’s activated on Monday, he’d add a maximum of 14 days to his total leaving him at 115 and likely comfortably clear of the threshold.

So that solves that issue. Now, what’s going on with Pompey?

The Canadian outfielder got a brief call-up back in May in which he had two hits over 11 plate appearances. He spent the majority of his season with Buffalo, but slashed a .272/.352/.418 line over multiple different minor league levels due to rehab assignments. That certainly isn’t bad but it isn’t where anybody thought Pompey would be at this stage of his career. The most damning thing for Pompey, it seems, was having a verbal run in with manager Bobby Meacham that resulted in the outfielder being suspended for multiple games.

He’s going to turn 26 years old in December and it’s become very clear the organization doesn’t view him as part of the future. Pompey will require waivers to be sent down in 2019 and will very likely be removed from the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft.

    • lukewarmwater

      I tend to agree Humungus as the owners can indeed get away with this manipulation. Now I suppose Alford has stayed in shape, worked out, etc. But he hasn’t played for two freaking weeks. I always felt sorry for Pompey who had that brilliant speed. Unfortunately the injury bug never seemed to leave him. I got the opportunity of hearing him speak at a Jays caravan tour in Vancouver one year. The Jays had some of their better stars visit some of the prairie cities, but the one Canadian city affiliated with the Jays only got Pompey. Let us not forget that you easteners who have stayed up very late got to observe up to 20,000 Jay fans cross the border and down the I-5 to the beautiful Safeco field to cheer on the Jays. This happens every year. Poor Pompey had what seemed to be pneumonia as he coughed and hacked for an hour. The interviewer kept moving his chair farther away from Pompey to avoid getting his germs.
      I totally agree the Jays will not protect him as he is now 26. Then again we have a 26 year old pitcher who has never made the majors and is coming off Tommy John surgery. Yep that was the Josh deal. So maybe there is hope for Pompey with a new field boss.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      Now that Toronto’s 2015-2016 baseball fad is coming to an end, Toronto’s favourite fad, a bandwagon narrative, takes over. This year’s bandwagon narrative is “service time”.

      1. The CBA already gave Alford service time for sitting on the DL when he got called up and injured himself immediately. He now has more than 2/3 of a year service time for a measly 24 PA’s at the major league level in 11 games in two years. His service time is all courtesy of the CBA. There is no clause is the CBA that says the team has to make sure he gets as much service time as possible. Nor is there a clause that says’ minor leaguers have to be brought up to the majors at all.

      2.Alford didn’t earn any call up at all this year. Put mildly, he stunk. The fact that the team was kind enough to give him a call-up to keep encouraging him after he and his wife had a child, along with service time, and then get hated for not giving him ‘enough’ service time, proves that no good deed goes unpunished.

      3. The job of the FO is not to make sure that as much money is wasted as possible. They were already compelled to pay $63.5 million for the 2018 hot garbage of Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin – a second string catcher and 2 DL-dwellers. They are also not obligated to rush players to the majors in time to be gone in 6 years at age 25. In fact, any team that did that like the ‘service time’ narrative bandwagoners claim, would and should be fired.

      4. Whenever I read on the internet complaints about clubs being ‘cheap’ it’s clear to me that the complainers have no idea how collective bargaining works. One side does not want pay to be on the basis of performance. That side is the players. The players make sure that the Uniform Baseball Contract is not based on performance incentives. The players make sure that players will be paid for providing no performance at all, like Alford was when he was on the DL. Like Tulo was all year. And Donaldson. The players make sure that when you’re stuck with junk like Chris Davis there is nothing you can do. That is the bargain. The players are not going to start bargaining to make sure that 19 year olds are called up to take one of their member’s positions, there is no basis that such a procedure could work anyway. Who is going to to decide a player has to be called up? On what basis? An arbitrator?

      5. Alford is being treated more than fairly. The ‘ friends of service time’ should look for a better example.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        “…The CBA already gave Alford service time for sitting on the DL when he got called up and injured himself immediately. ”

        Right he injured himself. Not an.accident. He did it to himself.
        I think that statememt alone sums up the value of your post.

        • Nice Guy Eddie

          Hot take, Sparky! I dig how you read everything I write and feel compelled to respond to everything. It’s sorta Pavlovian. Or like if a beaver hears the sound of water when it’s in a bathtub it nevertheless tries to build a dam. Can’t help itself. Just for fun, tell us how many Paul Beestons you think there are.

      • The Humungus

        “2.Alford didn’t earn any call up at all this year. Put mildly, he stunk. The fact that the team was kind enough to give him a call-up to keep encouraging him after he and his wife had a child, along with service time, and then get hated for not giving him ‘enough’ service time, proves that no good deed goes unpunished.”

        If he didn’t earn a call-up, then why call him after after letting him sit around for 2 weeks at pretty much the exact point where they’ve gamed his service time enough to avoid Super 2.

        Don’t be dense, bud. I’ve been vocally fine with the Vlad stuff because as a fan, I could give a fuck less about his “future earning potential”. I want the Jays to win. Plus, everything that’s happened so far has been plausible, because he is, at his best, a mediocre glove.

        But this is ridiculous. He didn’t earn a call-up. They held him down just long enough to avoid Super 2 in two years, but then call him up to sit on the bench? It’s like they’re flaunting that they re gaming the CBA, and that’s some Rays bullshit.

      • Regulator Johnson

        Does this site not have any moderation at all? I thought one of the advantages of using this garbage comment system over disqus is that it makes it harder to troll? This guy is the dictionary definition of the practice.

        • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

          Maybe reach out to Cam or Richard and let your thoughts be known. But yeah, Disquis rocks when it came to flagging trolling fucking idiots like Eddie and Ad!

  • Prospectplayer

    Too bad about Pompey but he has had a bad attitude from the age of 16
    His father was even worse along the Rasmus kind of father. It seems as if Dalton has not learned yet and that kind of tag spreads league wide like wild fire
    I hope his brother Tristen, the player of the two, keeps on his current track. He could be a good one.

  • Steve-O

    I am have these two, contradictory, thoughts in my head.

    1. Service time manipulation is pure wage theft, evil, a disservice to fans, and is something the MLBPA should fight tooth and nail to get rid of at the next collective bargaining negotiations.

    2. Blue Jays management is merely following the rules and are doing what is best for the organization, from a business perspective, by manipulating the service time of players like Vladdy and Alford.

    I will, thus, direct my ire at the MLBPA and MLB, and suggest the rest of you join me. I won’t get pissed at the organisation for using a tool those groups so generously (MLB) and ineptly (MLBPA) provided them with.