Kris Bryant's seemingly eternal quest to hit the open market one year earlier and paint himself as a victim of the MLB's service time requirements has been in vain, as it's now official: the young slugger has lost his grievance against the Chicago Cubs.
Bryant was seeking an extra year of service time after he fell one day short of playing a "full year" during his rookie year due to some clearly out-of-bounds manipulation, but he lost his legal battle with the Cubs, and he will become a free agent in 2021 instead of 2020. How this damages his reputation with the team moving forward (or how it expedites his potential departure via trade) will be the hot-button topic of the next several months.
Bryant hit .425 with nine home runs in 2015 Spring Training, but he was not promoted to the big leagues until one day after he could have earned a full year of service.
Given how Bryant lost this precedent-setting case, it appears that cases like that of Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who had the same thing happen to him this year, will continue to fall on the side of ownership.
The Cubs' masterful skirting of MLB's rules has resulted in another win for the organization at the expense of Bryant and the players' union. Bryant and the Cubs aren't on the friendliest of terms right now, which could make his stay in the rumor mill that much more interesting.