The Mets credited Ruben Tejada with an extra day of service time in his arbitration settlement, according to Ken Davidoff. As a result, the shortstop will now be eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old currently had four years and 171 days of MLB service, leaving him one day shy of the full five years. After getting demoted in 2013, Tejada didn't get called back up until September 8, narrowly keeping his arbitration clock ticking.
Although he has never developed any power, the 26-year-old has stuck around as valuable organizational depth due to his steady defense and decent patience at the plate. Over the last two seasons, Tejada has a 10.7 walk rate, which is padded somewhat because he often bats in front of the pitcher.
He played more than expected in both seasons, but he'll have a tougher time carving out a meaningful role in 2016. Free agent signing Asdrubal Cabrera is ahead of him on the depth chart, and Wilmer Flores will also compete for spare playing time in the infield.
The Mets considered non-tendering Tejada in November, so retaining him after 2016 isn't likely to top their list of priorities.