I’m relieved that Kris Bryant’s service time grievance has finally been resolved and I’m obviously happy that the Cubs will retain their two years of team control – whether they put those two years to use on the field or cash them in for future value remains unclear, but the outcome was objectively good for the team. That’s not debatable.
It’s also not debatable that it’s good that it’s finally over. Everyone can definitely be happy about that. We certainly are.
But still … it feels wrong to celebrate the result of the decision.
Remember, this is was a grievance filed through and for Bryant, but on behalf of the entire players union and other players in his position. What the Cubs did may have been technically sound (and even strategically encouraged by the very rules to which the union agreed), but working around player service time to maximize team control has always felt at least a little off. And given how high-profile and perfect Bryant’s case was (a tippy-top prospect who crushed Spring Training and missed by ONE day), no one else stands a chance in the current CBA environment. The service time games will continue unabated, and that isn’t necessarily a good result.
- Sure, all of this can change in the upcoming CBA negotiations, but this is just one more bit of leverage the league has over the union, in a relationship that’s already unbalanced in their favor. And considering how little restraint the league has shown in the past (in terms of exercising that leverage to their benefit, but possibly to the overall detriment of baseball proper), I’m not particularly optimistic. Spending may have gone up for an offseason, but a strike or lockout still looms on the horizon, and one of the union’s best shots at pre-negotiation leverage just left the arbitrator’s pen.
No surprise #Cubs prevailed over Bryant in service-time grievance, as first reported by @JeffPassan. Decision, however, is still quite meaningful, setting the stage for the service-time question to be a point of contention in next CBA negotiations.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 29, 2020
Certainly this offseason was a well-timed turn in free agency for the owners with respect to upcoming CBA negotiations. But doesn't really change issues with service time, mid-tier free agency, tanking, etc. So he's not wrong. https://t.co/ljPm0yjSSK
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 27, 2020
- A group of congressmen have created the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force,” (hey they’re not known for their creativity), and that task force has released a non-binding, symbolic resolution stating that, hey, they’d like to save Minor League Baseball from MLB’s contraction plan. There’s nothing really moving in opposition to the league just yet, but perhaps this task force can elevate the issue nationally and apply a little bit of additional pressure to the league. You can read the resolution, the league’s response, and some commentary from Craig Calcaterra right here.
- The year 2028 used to seem like some make-believe future-time we’ll never actually reach, but it’s actually this decade, and with it could come some significant change across MLB. At CBS Sports, Mike Axisa takes a really fun and informative look into everything that could change around that year and I think you’ll want to check it out. Among the possible changes: Rays relocation, two MLB expansion teams, league-wide realignment, shorter seasons, new playoffs, etc. There’s a lot, and a lot of it is highly realistic.
- Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker continues to be the choice of the Astros, but, despite a Bob Nightengale report to the contrary, the negotiations are apparently on-going:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 29, 2020
- As Rosenthal points out, Dusty tends to win most places he goes … but I wouldn’t jump for joy if he were my favorite team’s manager. He’s just not my style.
- More Brewers injury news, in addition to Luis Urias, another young position player is going to be slowed in camp:
Update on this notebook: Tyrone Taylor told us he had wrist surgery and was good to go for Spring Training, but he may have been mistaken about the second part. We are now told he will be limited in camp and is questionable for the start of the season. https://t.co/UD6auCY6Xy
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 29, 2020
- Infamous non-Bears QB Patrick Mahomes once threw a no-hitter in high school, and not against only a bunch of scrubs – White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech was on the other team! Read about it here:
One time in high school, Patrick Mahomes threw a no-hitter against Michael Kopech.
Mahomes struck out 16 dudes. Here is what five of those dudes — including Kopech — and some other dudes remember about that day: https://t.co/e6fhLNbzcT
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) January 28, 2020