(670 The Score) Third baseman Kris Bryant has lost his service time grievance against the Cubs, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Wednesday morning.
The long-awaited ruling means that Bryant will become a free agent after the 2021 season, the timeline by which the Cubs had previously been operating over the years. The Cubs had long been awaiting a decision on Bryant's case, as they've been listening to trade offers for him and wanted clarity on his contract situation. The two years of contract control means Bryant has more value to interested suitors than if he were to become a free agent after the 2020 season.
At the heart of the grievance was Bryant and his camp contending that the Cubs manipulated his service time back in 2015, when they called him up on that April 17 -- one day after he would've qualified for a full season of service time. By using the timeline they did, the Cubs pushed Bryant's free agency back to after the 2021 season instead of 2020.
Delaying a top prospect's arrival by several weeks into a new season is an approach many MLB teams have used. So had Bryant won his case, there could've been widespread ramifications across the sport.
Bryant, 27, is a three-time All-Star who won the National League MVP award in 2016. He has hit .284 with 138 homers and a .901 OPS in his five-year MLB career.