Chicago Cubs: What happens next with Kris Bryant’s grievance settled?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has lost his service time grievance, which could mean we’re in for a busy few weeks of trade rumors.

On Wednesday morning, after a near half-decade wait, arbitrator Mark Irvings settled the service time grievance of Cubs star and former National League MVP Kris Bryant. Per Jeff Passan of ESPN, the ruling fell in favor of the team – which hardly comes as a surprise to the industry, as a whole.

What does this mean? Bryant will hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. Had he come out on top in the case, the Chicago third baseman could have tested the waters of free agency this winter.

The MLBPA encouraged Bryant to file on the grounds the Cubs manipulated his service time at the start of the 2015 season, unnecessarily keeping him in the minor leagues to accrue extra years of control.

However, executives and insiders expected Bryant to lose the grievance for a number of reasons. For starters, service time manipulation has been happening for decades. Secondly, the landscape is already changing due to lucrative multi-year contracts handed to players that have yet to even play a single MLB game, like Chicago White Sox youngsters Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.

The Cubs had been awaiting a resolution all winter as they continue to explore Bryant’s trade value. Now that the official ruling has been made, how does this impact the team?