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Scott Boras: Union handling Kris Bryant's grievance against Cubs

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Scott Boras: Union handling Kris Bryant's grievance against Cubs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In essence, Kris Bryant became a franchise-level player from the moment the Cubs drafted him in 2013, a No. 2 overall pick with off-the-charts power, media savvy and so much marketing potential.

In the same way that Bryant views it as his responsibility to sign as many autographs as he can at the ballpark — and embraces the endorsements, billboards and commercials as a businessman — does he see this service-time grievance against the Cubs as bigger than himself?

From the outside, it looks like a statement on behalf of the Major League Baseball Players Association, trying to make a larger point heading into negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement that expires after the 2016 season.

But super-agent Scott Boras wouldn’t go that far — or even zing the Cubs that much — while doing his annual media session at the winter meetings.

“This is a union matter,” Boras said Wednesday inside the Opryland complex. “There’s an ambiguity. It needs to be resolved so that the sides know more about how to handle that situation.

“Kris Bryant is the performer. It’s that when his talent is so great, the rarity of the ambiguity had risen. That’s all.”

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This week began with a Yahoo! Sports report that identified Bryant and Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco as involved in the grievance process. Bryant (171) and Franco (170) finished just short of the 172 days needed for a full year of service, the bottom line being they can’t become free agents until after the 2021 season.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer responded by saying the team had known about the grievance since May: “Obviously, we feel like we were in the right.”

After the issue exploded into a national story during spring training, Bryant played seven games at Triple-A Iowa, debuted at Wrigley Field on April 17, made the National League All-Star team and became a unanimous Rookie of the Year pick.

“This is about rule interpretation, the intent,” Boras said. “That’s something the drafters of the CBA and an arbitrator will have to define. The union’s handling it.”

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.