MLBers Could Push For Service-Time System Change In CBA Talks
Cubs 3B Kris Bryant last week lost his grievance against the team and the decision "might move service-time manipulation to the forefront" of CBA talks, "leaving players little choice but to make it a linchpin issue in the next round of negotiations," according to Evan Drellich of THE ATHLETIC. If players "feel the grievance process cannot protect them -- something they now can say with conviction -- then their best recourse is to fight to change the rules themselves." Bryant's case "functions as a landmark," as it "produced the first ruling from an arbitrator in a situation where a team is alleged to have delayed a player's debut to gain an extra year of control." There have been "other service-time grievances previously, but for different fact patterns." More than ever, the MLBPA has "incentive to ensure players arrive in free agency on schedule and as early as possible." Teams "increasingly cite aging curves during negotiations," so anything that "delays a player's arrival in free agency alarms the MLBPA -- particularly roster decisions that may artificially delay arrival" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/3).