Arcia and Santana and Messing with Service Time

It is likely that Orlando Arcia and Domingo Santana were sent to the minors to improve performance and get playing time. But when they were sent to the minors and how long they stay, may have as much to do with service time accrual. Remember the Brewers want to maximize the value of their assets and lengthen the window of competitiveness. Oh, and they also want to make a profit.

A team does this by putting off how soon a player is arbitration and/or free agency eligible. The Brewers may be taking the opportunity to push off arbitration and free agency for two players that were key components of the 2017 resurgence.

At the beginning of the year, Domingo Santana had 2 years and 79 days of service time in MLB. He was sent down on June 23 so he has accumulated approximately 87 more days of service time. A year of service time is 171 days. Domingo Santana currently has around 166 days. If the Brewers want to maximize his trade value, it may be worth keeping him in the minors. This may be why you are seeing Broxton in right field and striking out at the plate.

Orlando Arcia had 1 year and 62 days of service time at the beginning of the year. He has accrued a little under 100 days so far this year. So he will still be under 2 years of service time entering spring training 2019 and would not be eligible for arbitration until 2021. So the decision to bring up Arcia to take over short for Saladino is also a decision on when the Brewers want Arcia to enter arbitration and free agency. This may mean seeing a bit more Miller and Orf.

Now you may be mad that the Brewers are playing the service time game; but if the players were performing well, I don't think this would have been a factor in the team's decisions. At this time, Arcia's and Santana's greatest value to the Brewers may be that they can keep playing in the minors and lengthen their window of being very affordable.