The Chicago Cubs won the battle, but have they now lost the war, knowing that former MVP Kris Bryant will be coming to spring training in three weeks peeved at the organization?
Bryant, as expected, lost his grievance case against the Cubs on Wednesday, a person familiar with the ruling told USA TODAY Sports, keeping him from filing for free agency until after the 2021 season.
Yet, Bryant, who testified at his hearing that the Cubs deliberately kept him in the minors for two weeks in 2015 simply to assure that he would not reach free agency a year early, believes the Cubs lied to him, according to two persons close to Bryant.
The Cubs have told teams all winter they are willing to trade Bryant for prospects and salary relief, realize that Bryant’s value is enhanced now that teams know they will have Bryant under control for two more years.
They also have a player that feels unwanted, underappreciated, and believes the organization openly lied during the arbitration hearing.
Bryant is one of three marquee players who could be traded before the start of the season, joining outfielder Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox and third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies.
Bryant, the 2016 MVP, will earn $18.6 million this year and will be eligible for salary arbitration one more time.
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