Two of the brightest young stars in the game today, Kris Bryant and Maikel Franco “filed grievances over manipulation of service time.”
This is a very interesting story line that most baseball fans are not aware of. Or are they? If you’re a Cubs fan, you probably remember earlier this season, even beginning in the spring, when Kris Bryant hit 9 dingers in spring training, and began the season in the minor leagues. It was like a round-the-clock debate over when Bryant would be brought up to the bigs. Even those aware are probably misinformed about why he was kept down so long, or what this meant for business.
Yahoo Sports reported the details of this story.
This has been a new issue between players, MLBPA and MLB. If you read the Yahoo article you’ll hear a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, so let me dumb it down for you (and me).
The reason Bryant and Franco were held down so long was strictly for their clubs’ long term benefit. A full year of MLB service is benchmarked at 172 days. What do ya know, Franco and Bryant both fell just shy of that 172 days of MLB service. That means that instead of Bryant becoming a free agent in 2020, rather than the 2021 had he started the year with the big league club. Same for Franco.
I’d be interested in further details about the solutions here and the ultimate decision, which will have to be made by an arbitrator. I guess the arbitrator will have to decide whether the Cubs/Phillies had reason to keep these guys down in AAA so long, or if they did it so they’d fall just shy of that 172 day mark. Seems like a losing battle for Bryant and Franco. But they might have some legitimate beef here. An extra year could mean tens of millions of dollars for these guys.