Kris Bryant is going to the minor leagues — unlikely for very long — in a decision that seems to make a lot of sense for the Chicago Cubs.
However, it’s not being very well received by two of Bryant’s biggest proponents: agent Scott Boras and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The Cubs took advantage of the controversial rule that allows them to send Bryant to the minors to begin the season in order to save major-league service time. All the Cubs have to do is wait until April 17 to recall him to the majors and they can save an entire season of big-league service time, which essentially gives them an extra year of control over the young phenom.
This move makes sense for the Cubs, but it does hurt Bryant’s earning power. He’ll become a free agent one year later, which ultimately could cost him millions down the road. With that in mind, the MLBPA weighed in Monday with this series of tweets.
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Boras, widely regarded as the best agent in baseball, blasted the Cubs for the move, too. He spoke to FOX Sports baseball reporter Jon Morosi about the decision, and Morosi tweeted Boras’ reaction Monday.
“Ersatz baseball,” Boras proclaimed. “MLB is not MLB without the best players. Kris excelled at every level and earned the right of entry. The CBA is apogee of wrongs incentivizing clubs to create a product less than best. Bryant’s situation is the badge for change to the CBA player service structure.
“His talent is deserving now, but nonessential time awaits his arrival.”
It might be unfair to the player in this instance, but the complaints coming from someone like Boras — who almost never negotiates with teams before the end of a deal and seeks every loophole he can to get the most out of teams — is a bit hollow. The system, of course, is the real problem, but if it’s broken, then the MLBPA deserves some of the blame considering, you know, it agreed to this in collective bargaining.
Bryant, meanwhile, has done nothing but rake since being taken No. 2 overall by the Cubs in the 2013 draft. He has blasted 52 home runs in 174 career minor-league games and has nine home runs in 14 spring training games this season.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images