Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday, and Major League Baseball's Players' Association had difficulty coping with the organization's decision. His agent, Scott Boras, was frustrated last September when the Cubs did not promote Bryant after rosters expanded, and Chicago is expected to be delaying his debut so that the club can control him for an additional year.
Regardless of the situation, ESPN's B.J. Rains does not feel the Cubs' decision is significant. Bryant may indeed be called upon in a few weeks:
Bryant will be up with the Cubs in a few weeks. Sure it costs him some money, but it's how the business of baseball works. Sorry.— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) March 30, 2015
Rains has no pity for Boras, who has been in similar situations before. It may be something he should be used to:
No surprise that Scott Boras is upset with Cubs' decision. Costs him and his client some money. But shouldn't be a surprise. Not first time.— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) March 30, 2015
It is not the collective bargaining agreement itself that is being questioned, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. It is the behavior of major league clubs that is resulting in uncertainty:
LRTs: The union is not questioning the collective-bargaining agreement, but whether clubs are acting in the spirit of the agreement.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 30, 2015
MLBPA wants to take action, but how much can they realistically do? Josh Timmers of our Bleed Cubbie Blue is not expecting much:
I'm really not sure what they can do. They can file a grievance, but without any specific evidence that the Cubs demoted Bryant for service time issues, there is nothing an arbiter could do. The Cubs have the right to make their roster as they see fit, and it's not like Bryant is the first prospect to be held down for service time issues.
Bryant is a minor league player, and as a result is not represented by the union. And the drama continues:
That’s why part of why the MLBPA’s angle here seems murkier. The union appears to be threatening litigation over a team abiding by the very rules the union agreed to and helped establish in the CBA. Plus, as MLB’s statement points out, the MLBPA is acting on behalf of a player who, like all minor leaguers, is not represented by the union.
Will MLBPA achieve anything in litigation? Our Alex Skillin says NO:
It's clear the current rules will be altered once the current CBA expires after the 2016 season, but the MLBPA's chances of achieving anything in litigation are highly doubtful.
Joe Maddon likes Bryant's bat, and was a bit surprised by the club's decision:
"I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you’d not like to have him in a lineup, there’s no question," Maddon said. "You want him in your lineup."
The union's involvement reveals its dedication to protecting veteran players in the eyes of FOX Sports' Rob Neyer:
Is the union really so interested in the greatest players playing? Nah. The union's obvious and legal interest is singular: protecting the interests of its members, which often means finding work for veteran players who should have already made way for younger players.
Chicago's roster is mostly set. Phil Coke has a spot. Bryant does not:
i get cubs reasoning on all, but the world feels a little upside down when phil coke makes the team, and kris bryant doesnt— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 31, 2015