Recently, Chicago Cubs star third baseman Kris Bryant filed a grievance claim with the Major League Baseball Players’ Association in regards to service time manipulation that the Cubs obviously were guilty of back in 2015.
A source confirmed Wednesday that Bryant is alleging the Cubs in 2015 manipulated his potential free agency.
The decision could have immediate ramifications for the Cubs, who likely will try to reach a long-term deal with the third baseman.https://t.co/IMxVRU9Lju
— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) October 24, 2019
Bryant, now 27 years old, was one of the biggest prospects in baseball at the time of his initial promotion. However, there was a lot of accusations thrown around at the Chicago Cubs for manipulating his service time. In other words, they were trying to get a top prospect on the verge of breaking out for an extra year on a cost-controlled contract. At the time, everyone knew what they were up to. Now, it looks like it may come back to bite them.
Effect on the Dodgers
This practice is not solely deployed by the Chicago Cubs. It is a widespread epidemic across Major League Baseball. It is so widespread, that even the Dodgers have used it on budding ace Walker Buehler.
Back in 2018, the Dodgers held Buehler off the major league roster for four days in an effort to make him eligible for free agency in 2023, as opposed to 2022. The Dodgers also utilized a similar strategy with Cody Bellinger during his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017.
The primary implications of Kris Bryant’s case are that other players — including Buehler and Bellinger — could argue the exact same case and be granted free agency a year earlier than expected. This would absolutely kill teams and be one of the biggest wins for players in quite some time. This is almost unprecedented, therefore it could set the precedent for future top prospects.
Overall, this would be a great thing for baseball and for the players, but it would ultimately hurt the Dodgers — a lot.