Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies third basemen Kris Bryant and Maikel Franco have filed grievances with the MLB alleging their teams kept them in minor league to purposefully delay their free agency, reports Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.
Bryant, the National League Rookie of the Year, made his MLB debut on April 17 and accrued 171 days of service time. A full year is comprised of 172 days. As a result, Bryant will not reach free agency until 2021 instead of 2020.
Franco made his MLB debut in September 2014, but started 2015 in Triple-A. The Phillies called up Franco on May 15, and he ended the season with 170 service days.
Bryant and Franco’s grievances allege their teams operated in bad faith and did not abide by the intention of service-time rules, according to the report.
Bryant led MLB with nine home runs during spring training, but was demoted to Triple-A at the start of the regular season. He played 151 games after joining the Cubs. Bryant filed his grievance in April, and Franco followed later, according to the report.
The grievances are not guaranteed to reach an arbitration panel. Service-time rules are expected to be an important point of discussion as the MLB and MLBPA work on a new collective-bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires Dec. 1, 2016.