NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the team isn’t concerned about the service-time grievance filed early in the 2015 season by National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. The grievance was made public for the first time Monday.
“We’ve known about this since May,” Hoyer said. “We have a great relationship with Kris. We feel like we were in the right.”
The dispute stems from the team’s insistence that Bryant needed more seasoning in the minor leagues and keeping him there, thus preventing him from being eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Because Bryant spent the first eight games at Triple-A Iowa, he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. He was called up on the first day after the deadline.
“This is something that will be handled through due process,” Hoyer said. “It was filed in May, and to the best of my knowledge, it sits in the same place that it has been.”
It is unknown what Bryant is seeking in damages, as there is no precedent for a service-time dispute going to a hearing. At the time, Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras, was critical of the Cubs and claimed they were more concerned about money than winning.
“Cubs ownership has a choice,” Boras said. “Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? [Team owner and chairman] Tom Ricketts said they were all about winning.”
Bryant defended Boras’ comments and wondered why he couldn’t break camp with the big league club.
“I think the spring I’m having so far is putting me in a pretty good position,” Bryant said in March. “We’re told we can go out there and win a spot, and I really took that to heart at the beginning of spring. I came out here with a chip on my shoulder and wanted to play as hard as I can.”
Bryant led all hitters with nine home runs in spring training but was still sent to the minors. Despite missing eight games, Bryant went on to win rookie of the year after hitting 26 home runs and driving in 99 runs.
Yahoo! Sports was first to report the grievance.