CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is reportedly one of two players who filed grievances against their teams alleging manipulation of service time.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Bryant and Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco filed grievances saying they were kept in the minor leagues unnecessarily and “had their service time manipulated to delay future free agency.”
Bryant, who won the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year award, debuted April 17 and finished the season with 171 days of service time. A full year of service encompasses 172 days.
By calling him up when they did, the Cubs positioned themselves to delay Bryant’s free agency until 2021 as opposed to 2020.
Alleged service-time manipulation has created tension between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association and could gain steam as a new collective bargaining agreement will be needed after the current one expires Dec. 1, 2016.
Sources told Yahoo! Bryant filed his grievance in April.
The controversy began after Spring Training, when the Cubs sent him to the minors they said so he could work on his fielding.
The players association then sent out a press release that began, “Today is a bad day for baseball,” Yahoo! reports.
Cubs President Theo Epstein did not reply to Yahoo!’s requests for comment.
It is unclear whether Bryant’s grievance will be heard before an arbitration panel, according to the report.