Despite the oft held notion that the Chicago Cubs will have two more years of Kris Bryant, due to a grievance filed over service time manipulation in 2015, the Cubs may actually only control one more year of his service.
In what could be the most shocking turn of baseball events since the Washington Nationals stormed their way to a 2-0 World Series lead, a grievance filed in 2015 (and finally being heard this week) has the potential to rock the very foundation of Major League Baseball. Said grievance between Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs over whether or not the team delayed Bryant’s arrival on purpose could irrevocably alter the way rookies and phenoms are viewed, used and manipulated across the baseball landscape.
While this is old news to some, many have forgotten that this grievance even exists because of the amicable relationship between Bryant and the club since his rookie season. In fact, fans may have even dismissed it because nothing had come of it in the four years since.
For those who don’t recall the circumstances of Bryant’s opening act with the Cubs, Bryant tore up Spring Training only to be held back for “seasoning” in Triple-A because he needed to work on his defense. The Cubs went with Mike Olt to start the season at third base, conveniently calling up Bryant only after Olt suffered a fractured wrist.
Oh yeah, and also only after being guaranteed an extra year of team control over Bryant on the back end of his first contract, meaning he wouldn’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season. Bryant filed a grievance through the player’s union back in 2015 and four years later, it’s being heard this week.