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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

MLB Players Association reacts strongly to Kris Bryant heading to minor leagues

Kris-Bryant

In a move that didn’t come as much of a surprise, the Cubs made the decision that one of baseball’s top prospects, Kris Bryant, will start the 2015 season in the minor leagues. Bryant has been the talk of spring training thus far, hitting nine home runs in just 14 games this month. While his play would appear to indicate he should break camp with the major league club, the Cubs opted to make a business decision.

If Bryant remains in the minors until April 17, the Cubs can bring him up and add him to the 40-man roster, which would begin the process of Bryant accruing service time at that point. From then until the end of the season, Bryant would accrue 171 days of service. 172 days is considered a full season. Bryant coming up short of that mark would delay when he can become a free agent by one year, giving the Cubs an extra season with him under their control they wouldn’t have if he was on the opening day roster.

This has been a hot button topic throughout spring training with Scott Boras (Bryant’s agent) ripping the Cubs over their handling of his client. After finding out of Chicago’s decision on Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association also declared its unhappiness with the Cubs’ decision.

With the Cubs having brought in Joe Maddon, Jon Lester, Dexter Fowler, and Miguel Montero during the offseason, there is a sense of optimism around the Cubs that has been absent in recent years. A franchise that has been methodically building for the future is entering a window where it believes it can win now.

The soonest Kris Bryant can be recalled to make his major league debut would be for the 10th game of the season. Could Bryant have helped the team win one of its first nine games? It’s highly possible. For what is projected to be a very competitive National League Central division, a handful of games may be the difference between making or missing the playoffs this year. However, the Cubs will now have one of the game’s potential stars for one more of his prime years, when he will presumably be much better and likely making even more of an impact.

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