Kris Bryant dispute highlights a need for rules changes

It's hard to knock the Cubs for delaying Kris Bryant's arrival, which is why the rules are a problem. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

The problem isn't actually a problem. A situation that has Scott Boras lashing out at the Cubs for delaying Kris Bryant's arrival in Chicago and has Bryant subsequently defending his agent (in mature fashion) is an inevitable consequence of a collectively bargained rule. The rule states that a player with six years of major league service -- 6.000 years, where the three digits after the dot represent a number of days rather than a fractional amount -- gets to be a free agent, whereas a player with 5.171 years/days of service does not and must wait another year. The latter player will end up going through the arbitration process a fourth time, at which point his agents may compare his performance and salary to those of free agents and thus may file and argue for a market-level salary. It works in theory better than it works in practice, as the process typically requires looking farther back in time than the players would like, therefore failing to account for the significant rate of inflation of free-agent salaries.

The problem, thus, is