Further indicating that certain corners were ready to use Kris Bryant’s start to the 2015 season as the foundation for an inevitable fight about the service time rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the MLB Players Association was armed and ready to fire off some angry tweets today upon the news that Bryant was cut from big league camp:

Like with Scott Boras, I’m not going to shred the MLBPA for doing and saying the very things you’d expect them to do and say (though they probably could have made their point in a more compelling, more clear, less silly manner). There is a very real issue here, and I don’t entirely disagree with anyone who says well-planned changes could be good for the game.



But I will point out that it feels a little disingenuous for the union to cry foul when a non-union-member doesn’t make the big league team (which would have come at the expense of a union member’s job), especially when the union hasn’t always done much to protect its future members, in the form of minor league players, international players, and draftees.



These rules are collectively-bargained, which means the MLBPA explicitly agreed to them. This was always going to be a fight for the post-2016 CBA, but it was also always going to be tricky when there pretty much has to be a cutoff for free agency. Move the dates, and the service time games will likely move right along with it. A real solution will have to be creative and thoughtful.

For now, the Cubs operated within the rules of the system the players helped put in place. Further, from the Cubs’ perspective, there were no shenanigans here – just a baseball decision that looks like the baseball decision every other Theo Epstein-led front office has made over the last 13 years.

Maybe that means the MLBPA brings a grievance, as they threaten in their tweets, and maybe it means folks just want to use this as an opportunity to make their point, and get a future CBA dialog going.



(UPDATE: MLB has responded.)




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