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The Cubs' offseason has been in a holding pattern while the team awaited the results of Kris Bryant’s service time grievance case. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Cubs and Bryant finally have their answer.

 

Bryant was hoping to become a free agent after the 2020 season instead of after 2021 as was originally expected. Passan is reporting that Bryant has lost his grievance and the Cubs will maintain two years of control for the former MVP third baseman.

This is not a surprise decision, but it does allow the Cubs to move forward in their offseason plans. Rumors and reports have had the Cubs looking to cut payroll to get under the luxury tax. Moving Bryant via trade might allow the team to get prospect talent in return while off-loading his $18.6 million salary. The two sides settled on that number to avoid arbitration earlier this offseason.

Teams on the other end of a potential Bryant trade can now move forward knowing how long they would have the 28-year-old under contract. Bryant’s value is obviously greater with two years of control than one. Reports indicated that potential trade partners didn’t want to deal for Bryant until the grievance case had been resolved.

This all stemmed from the Cubs bringing Bryant up to the majors on April 17, 2015. If Bryant had been recalled a day earlier, he would have hit free agency after 2020. Instead, the Cubs played the service time game, as many other teams have, in accordance with the rules. 

This is a big deal to the Cubs not only because of the retained value, but because they can finally move on with their offseason. With players reporting to spring training within two weeks, the Cubs would need to move quickly to make significant changes to the roster.

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