How Kris Bryant’s Lost Service Time Grievance Impacts MLB’s Future CBA Negotiations

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Service-time manipulation is an issue on the MLB Players Association’s mind heading to the next collective bargaining discussions. The issue has come to a head after Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant lost his grievance against the team, arguing that he should have been a free agent one year sooner. Bryant was already a highly regarded player in both college and the minor leagues. The third baseman claimed that the team intentionally held him back in the minor leagues in order to delay his free agency. The Cubs called up Bryant in 2015 one day after the cut-off point that would have made Bryant a free agent after the 2020 season instead of 2021. SI legal analyst Michael McCann assesses how this case can affect how the Players Union moves forward at the bargaining table. MLB’s current CBA is set to expire after the 2021 season.