Kris Bryant remains under contract with the Chicago Cubs through the 2021 season after losing a grievance over his service time, ESPN reported.
The third baseman was arguing the Cubs abused established Major League Baseball service time rules by neglecting to allow the top prospect to break spring training on the 25-man roster in 2015.
Instead, because delaying his arrival meant another year under the team's control, the Cubs called up Bryant two weeks later -- April 17, 2015.
Bryant is rumored to be on the trade block and the decision from MLB arbitrator Mark Irvings could have a strong impact on what the Cubs are able to demand in return.
If the Cubs had called up Bryant from Triple-A Iowa one day earlier, he would have been a free agent after the upcoming 2020 season.
At the time, agent Scott Boras was outspoken about the rule and the intentional delay. MLB will reportedly release a ruling this week that describes the Cubs' maneuvering as acceptable and by the book.
Bryant was the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year and the 2016 NL MVP and is a three-time All-Star. He hit 31 home runs and drove in 77 runs last season with a .282 batting average and .382 on-base percentage.
ESPN described trade talks around Bryant as "ongoing" as the team reportedly seeks to reduce payroll under first-year manager David Ross.
--Field Level Media