Ryan Drese and the mysterious option situation

Okay...

So yesterday, I said that I thought Ryan Drese had an option left.  I based that on my belief that, since Drese spent less than 20 days in the minors last season, he didn't burn an option.

Jamey Newberg corrected me on that, indicating that Drese was out of options.  The Hardline supposedly said today initially that Drese had an option left, but the Rangers are saying that Drese was out of options.  

So I figured I had the rules wrong.

But here's where the confusion arises...if one looks at Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, it says the following under Article XIX:

E. Optional Assignments

If a Player is optionally assigned for a total of less than 20 days in one championship season, such optional assignment(s) shall not count as
an optional assignment in connection with the limitation upon optional assignments provided for in Major League Rule 11(c). (See Article
XXI(B).)

For purposes of counting days on option, the date of the optional assignment shall be counted and the date of recall shall not be counted,
provided that the date of recall shall be counted if the recall takes place after the start of any Minor League game in which the Player was eligible to play.

So...we know Drese had an option remaining in 2004, because he was optioned.  And we know he was down for less than 20 days...it appears that Drese was optioned on April 5, 2004, and Drese was recalled on April 14, 2004.

So Drese was in the minors for just nine days.  Under XIX(E), that wouldn't count as an optional assignment.  That would mean that there was no option used last season, which means that Drese should still have an option left now.

So...that provides three different possibilities:

  1.  The most likely scenario...there is some arcane provision in the CBA or in the major league rules that provide that Drese's last option expired or was no longer valid for 2005, despite the fact that he was in the minors for less than the twenty days required to extinguish an option under the CBA.
  2.  An alternative scenario...Drese has an option left, and the Rangers don't really want to use it, because they think that Drese is unsalvagable, and want someone to claim him.  Seems pretty unlikely, but is possible.
  3.  The least likely scenario...someone screwed up, either last year, in the MLB front office, in allowing Drese a fourth option, or in the Ranger front office this year, in determining that Drese was out of options when, in actuality, he had another option left.  I find it pretty hard to believe that that is what happened, but I guess it is a remote possibility.
If anyone can explain why Drese could be optioned in 2004, but not in 2005 (even though he spent less than 20 days in the minors in 2004), please let me know...particularly if you have some sort of link or documentation that you could share that explains this...
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