42°F
weather icon Clear

Cubs’ Kris Bryant loses service-time grievance, sources say

CHICAGO — Kris Bryant has lost his service-time grievance against the Chicago Cubs, providing some clarity for the team and the All-Star third baseman with spring training on the horizon.

Two people with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the decision on Wednesday. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because arbitrator Mark Irvings had not announced his ruling.

The grievance had hovered over Chicago throughout its quiet offseason. The decision means the 28-year-old Bryant has two years left before he is eligible for free agency, instead of becoming a free agent after the 2020 season.

Now that Bryant’s status is settled, the Cubs might decide to trade the 2016 National League MVP for financial flexibility and an injection of talent for their sagging minor league system. They also could keep the talented slugger in hopes of winning the wide-open NL Central for the third time in five years.

Bryant, who was a standout at Bonanza High, is slated to make $18.6 million this season after he avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract on Jan. 10. ESPN was the first to report the arbitrator’s decision.

Bryant starred at the University of San Diego before he was selected by Chicago with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft.

He rocketed through the Cubs’ farm system and made his major league debut on April 17, 2015. In his grievance, the Las Vegas native contended he was held in the minors in a deliberate effort to delay his free-agent eligibility and that delay violated baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

Bryant hit .275 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs in his first season, helping Chicago make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. He blasted 39 homers and scored an NL-high 121 runs in 2016, leading the Cubs to their first World Series championship since 1908.

Bryant batted .282 with 31 homers, 77 RBIs and 108 runs in 2019, but Chicago finished third in the division and missed the playoffs. He was hampered by right knee soreness for part of the summer, and then missed the end of the season with a sprained right ankle.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Tony Fernandez, 5-time All-Star shortstop, dead at age 57

Tony Fernández, a stylish shortstop who made five All-Star teams during his 17 seasons in the major leagues and helped the Toronto Blue Jays win the 1993 World Series, died Sunday after complications from a kidney disease. He was 57.

 
Astros’ Bregman, Altuve ‘sorry’ for sign-stealing scheme

The Astros were disciplined after MLB found they broke rules by using electronics to steal signs during a run to the 2017 World Series title and again in 2018.

MLB debating playoff expansion to 14 teams, source says

A postseason of 14 teams would mean 47% of franchises reach the playoffs, which could cause some clubs not to go into rebuilding mode.