For one Blue Jay, yesterday was more than just a marathon game - it marked a milestone in his career.
Coming into the 2016 season, Barney had accumulated 4 years and 85 days of credited major league service, according to Baseball-Reference among others. Article XXI(A) of the Collective Agreement provides that for service time purposes, 172 days constitutes a full season (provided that no more than one year of service time can be accumulated per season, since there are usually about 183 days in a major league season).
Yesterday marked the 87th day of the 2016 season (April 3rd to June 28th inclusive), all of which Barney has spent on the major league roster. When added to his previous 85 days, he's hits the 172 day threshold to be considered an additional full year, giving him five full years.
Why is this significant, or matter at all beyond being a nice round number? At Bluebird Banter, we track player option statuses, on our Blue Jays Option and Outright Status Table, which is available from the main landing page under the "Library" heading and updated periodically (usually near the beginning of the month).
As that table shows, Barney was optioned in 2014 and 2015, meaning that he has one option year left and was one of just three position players on the 25-man roster (along with Devon Travis, Kevin Pillar, and Ryan Goins) who could be optioned. However, players with 5 years of service time gain the right to decline any optional assignment, and so effectively Barney cannot now be optioned. Given how well he's been playing this year, this is a de facto moot point right now anyway, but if Barney were to struggle the Jays couldn't simply option him down.
This is also a good opportunity to highlight a change to the Option and Outright Table that will be implemented when it is next updated over the weekend: the service time in the chart will be updated in-season, whereas until now it has simply reflected the number at the beginning of the season. This way, Joe Biagini and others won't show up anachronistically as having 0.000 years service despite having roster time, and Barney's full 5.000 years will be reflected.
Below is the 40-man chart, with updated service time through last night (June 28th) that will shortly be updated in the permanent link:
|Player||Pos.||Can Option?||Outright Choice||MLB Service||Added to 40-Man||Opt 1||Opt 2||Opt 3||First Outright||Opt'd less than 20d|
|Ezequiel Carrera||OF||No||Elect FA||2.126||11/2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
|Chris Colabello||1B||Yes*||Elect FA||2.072||5/2013||2013||2014||2015|
|Josh Donaldson||3B||No||Elect FA||4.073||4/2010||2010||2011||2012|
|Drew Hutchison||RHP||Yes*||Elect FA||3.130||4/2012||2013||2016||2015|
|Junior Lake||OF||No||Elect FA||1.147||11/2011||2012||2013||2015||2016||2014|
|Aaron Loup||LHP||Yes*||Elect FA||3.156||7/2012||2016|
There was another piece of positive news for Barney yesterday as D1Baseball's Aaron Fitt named his 2016 "All-Fitt" team of college players, as well as a 10 year anniversary team of 35, on which Barney placed at SS. Barney was a three years starter at Oregon State, from 2005-07, including on back-to-back national champions in 2006 and 2007.