Bryant isn't worried about service-time issue

Union head Clark won't let ongoing grievance become a distraction

March 14th, 2016

MESA, Ariz. -- Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said Monday there was no update regarding the grievance filed on behalf of the Cubs' Kris Bryant regarding service time. Bryant is just happy it's not the hot topic of Spring Training.

"Even if there was a latest, I would not offer the latest on the Bryant grievance," Clark said Monday after meeting with Cubs players during the MLBPA's annual tour of spring camps. "I won't even acknowledge whether there is one or not."

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Clark did expect service time to be discussed when the union and Major League Baseball meet to discuss the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"It has a lot of value to be discussed," Clark said. "It's not a new issue. It's not a new concern. But in the climate that we're in at the time we're in, it seems to make a lot of sense to try to have a broader discussion about what can be done so it is not a part of the everyday dialogue leading up to the season."

Bryant led all players with nine Spring Training home runs last year, but he did not make the Cubs' Opening Day roster. Because he wasn't promoted to the big leagues until mid-April, he will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season, rather than after '19.

Bryant also did not offer an update on the grievance, which was filed early in the 2015 season.

"I literally have no clue," Bryant said when asked about a timetable. "That's the way I want it to be, too. I don't want to focus on it too much. It's in the past."

Last spring, the issue of service time made Bryant the center of attention. This spring, he's the Cubs' third baseman, and that's it.

"This is great. I'm just another guy in the clubhouse," Bryant said. "It's good to have some other guys here who are pretty big name people. It's good to be another guy and blend in here and go out and do my business and have fun and win some games and hopefully we win some more Spring Training games. It's really good to just be myself."